Friday, November 18, 2011
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ALBANY Officials with the Georgia Secretary of State's office say that they have an open review of how the Dougherty County Elections Office carried out the Nov. 8 General Election, following controversy in the Ward II race.
Michael O'Sullivan, said that the office was reviewing how the election was held to ensure that elections officials complied with state law.
Melissa Strother is expected to mount a legal challenge to the results of the Ward II race in which she was a candidate. Ivey Hines has been ruled the winner of the race but has yet to be sworn in.
Strother has said she plans to challenge the race based on several irregularities with the way the election was held, many of which stem from the qualification and subsequent disqualification of candidate Cheryl Calhoun. Calhoun, who lives in Ward I but had been issued Ward II voting registration cards, was allowed to qualify based on what elections officials say was an error with the maps used by the office to determine residency.
O'Sullivan wouldn't say who initiated the investigation, but that the Secretary of State has the authority to investigate any election held in the state to "ensure that the election code was followed."
Unlike federal, state and county races, the secretary of state's office doesn't have authority to certify municipal election results. They do, however, monitor elections of all types to ensure compliance with the law, O'Sullivan said.