A second hearing, originally scheduled for 9:00 Tuesday morning in the courtroom of Etowah County District Judge William H. Rhea III , concerning the lawsuit over absentee ballots in the August 26th Municipal Election in Cedar Bluff, has been postponed. Instead, depositions were being taken by the attorney’s in the case, from Cedar Bluff Town Clerk DeLana Martin, after which the absentee ballots in question are expected to be examined.
That suit was filed by Jimmy Wallace, who placed third in the Cedar Bluff Mayor’s race. He was soon joined by two candidates in the race for Town Council in Districts 1 and 2 , Billie Burkhalter and Lenora McWhorter.
The suit contends that the absentee ballots in that election were mishandled, and could very well affect the outcome of the aforementioned contests. The two front-runners in the race for Mayor Ethel Sprouse and Steve Lay had been set to take part in a run-off originally scheduled for today, however, after the lawsuit was filed, a first hearing in the courtroom of Judge Rhea just over a week ago, resulted in an order to stay, effectively putting everything on hold. The suit filed by Wallace, Burkhalter and McWhorter is asking that either a new election be held, or that the allegedly illegal ballots be thrown out.
Further complicating the matter, was the untimely death of Mayoral candidate Steve Lay last Friday, following a series of complications apparently resulting from recent cardiac surgery. What direction the case will now take remains to be seen, and well have information on today’s actions as soon as it becomes available.
(WEIS Radio News)