|Jones seeks invalidation of LSSD board election result|
|Tuesday, August 28, 2012|
By PATRICK HALL
A candidate who lost by only one vote in the Aug. 2 election has filed a challenge in Chancery Court contesting his defeat.
Steve Jones, who ran for re-election to the Lebanon Special School District Board of Education and was defeated by Johnie Payton by a single vote, has filed a complaint in Chancery Court seeking to have the election invalidated.
The complaint was filed on Friday, Aug. 17, by Jones’ attorneys Todd Tressler and Jonathan Tinsley, of Tressler & Associates PLLC.
According to the complaint, the option to vote in the LSSD race was not present on “an unknown number of ballots” which “did not allow certain residents of the City of Lebanon to cast their ballot” in that election.
When results from the Aug. 2 election were certified by the Wilson County Election Commission, Jones received 1,467 votes to Payton’s 1,468.
The complaint says that based on a signed affidavit and “statements of several qualified voters, the actual results of this election cannot be accurately determined.”
Jones is seeking that the results be invalidated and that the election between himself and Payton be held again as part of the Nov. 6 election. If a new election is granted, the complaint also asks that Jones keep his seat on the LSSD board until that election is certified.
A week later, on Friday, Aug. 24, Timothy Davis, Payton’s attorney, filed a motion to dismiss the case indicating Jones’ complaint did not “plead either fraud or illegality in the election” nor did the original complaint “name the Wilson County Election Commission as a necessary party.”
On Monday, Aug. 27, Tressler filed an amended complaint in which the plaintiff added the Election Commission as an additional Defendant.
A show cause hearing is to be held at 9 a.m., Friday, Sept. 7, in Trousdale County before Chancellor C.K. Smith. The hearing will be in Trousdale County because Smith is scheduled to be in that county on that day.
The show cause order requires the Election Commission to “show cause, if they have any, of why the (LSSD) board member election…should be invalidated.” The show cause order was served to the Election Commission on Monday.