Election fraud allegation in District 2 Commission Race

The Jefferson County Commission District 2 race is not over.Earlier this week, the Jefferson County Election Commission declared incumbent Sandra Little-Brown to be the winner over challenger Sheila Smoot by just 26 votes.Now, a voter has filed a contest to the results. The complaint was filed by Ervin P. Hill, a registered voter in District Two.The complaint is filled with allegations of "fraud and/ or corruption". It was sent to the Jefferson County Democratic Party.It questions the 26 votes that placed Sandra Little Brown ahead of Sheila Smoot."The claims are broad as you would imagine," said Barry Ragsdale, the attorney for the Democratic Party."They claim that there were both provisional ballots and absentee ballots that should have been counted for Ms. Smoot that were not counted for Ms. Smoot," he explained. "There are also general allegations of election irregularities that aren't specified."The complaint claims legal votes were "offered and rejected" for Smoot, and that "illegal votes for Sandra Brown were allowed.""There are no extra ballots," said Barry Stephenson, Chairman of the County Board of Registrars. "There's nothing sitting over there in the Sheriff's vault that hasn't been counted. There's nothing in someone's' trunk of a car that hasn't been counted. Everything's been counted."Stephenson is adamant the count is correct."All the absentee ballots that were properly cast in this election were counted the night of July 15," he continued. "We don't leave home. The election commission and the folks in the tabulation area, the board of registrars, we don't leave home that night until everything is counted from the polls and the absentee."Ragsdale says the party's chairman now has five days to appoint an un-biased hearing committee that will hear the contest within ten days. "Both Ms. Smoot and Ms. Brown are represented by very qualified, experienced{} election counsel and we expect that there will be evidence presented in whatever form to support the contest or in opposition to the contest," said Ragsdale. The committee can accept or reject the challenge. "The County Party has the option, if they find sufficient evidence to, change the results of the election or accept the results of the election and deny the contest," explained Ragsdale.Shelia Smoot told ABC 3340 she hasn't even read the complaint yet and that she's leaving it to the voters.Commissioner Sandra Little Brown says she trusts the Democratic Party to do what is right and fair. In the mean time, she says she'll continue to do her work for the commission.