Committee of State Democratic Party dismisses challenge in Little-Brown, Smoot Jefferson County Commission District Two Race

Once again, a challenge in the Jefferson County Commission District Two race has been dismissed.A subcommittee of the{}State Democratic Executive Committee in Montgomery heard an appeal Tuesday afternoon in the race between incumbent Sandra Little Brown and challenger Sheila Smoot. Brown won the July runoff by 26 votes.Ervin P. Hill, a voter and Smoot supporter, filed a complaint alleging election fraud in the race. It alleged that Smoot would have won, if all of the legal votes cast for her had been counted.The Jefferson County Democratic Party dismissed the challenge. Hill appealed to the state party.At Tuesdays hearing on the appeal, Little Brown's attorney Joe Espy told the committee that a federal law and four state laws had already been broken. He warned them not to proceed with the challenge."The Loser, the Smoot side, missed at least five deadlines plus they failed to comply with federal law," said Espy. "The first deadline was a hearing by July 28th. Not met. The second deadline was this committee right here had to meet by August 11th. Not met."One example Espy mentioned was that the original hearing was supposed to take place within five days of the contest being filed. The Jefferson County Democratic Party heard that case ten days later.Hill's legal team disagrees with Tuesday's dismissal, saying that the voters should not be penalized for mistakes made by attorneys."We do think it was a mistake," said attorney Diandra Debrosse-Zimmerman. {}"It was in reliance with a Supreme Court decision that had a different set of facts from this, where they were not within the statutory period to file an election contest. And in this case, even the lawyers in the Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee, they were confused about the time period."Now that the state party dismissed the challenge, Hill can file one last appeal to the executive committee this Saturday. But, Smoot's legal team tells ABC 3340 that they haven't yet decided if they will take that step.