No change in Piedmont mayor race after recount
by Eddie Burkhalter
eburkhalter@annistonstar.com
Sep 13, 2012 | 3490 views |  0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PIEDMONT – After four hours of counting, the Piedmont mayoral race stands as it did after the Aug. 28 election, with candidates Rick Freeman and Brent Morrison headed to a runoff Oct. 9.

The third-place finisher, Tony Williams, would have needed 163 votes to bump Freeman out of the runoff election, but the recount results showed his total unchanged with 256 votes.

Morrison picked up a vote in the recount, with 520 votes counted. Freeman lost two, with 416 votes.

Linda Warren, chief inspector for Piedmont municipal elections, conducted the recount, along with election inspector Patti Singleton.

“I’m looking forward to these final few weeks,” Morrison said by phone after the recount Thursday. “We said from the beginning, Rick (Freeman) and I, when the results of the general election came in we said we were going to keep the race clean, and we’ve both lived up to that I think so far.”

Freeman was out of town Thursday, but his campaign manager, Sabrina Minton, said she was satisfied with the results of the recount.

“We’re looking forward to the runoff,” Minton said. “And we would ask that everyone come out and vote on Oct. 9.”

Attempts to contact Williams by phone for comment after the recount were unsuccessful.

Williams had asked for Thursday’s recount, citing in his written request “reasonable suspicion to believe that the results of said election to have been miscounted, switched or otherwise tampered with.”

The request also said that Williams has reason to believe that “voter fraud may have been involved as a result of names being removed from voters list as of specified time …” and that “sources also indicated that a candidate of the election may have been involved of the purging of voters list days before said election.”

The request also said that an “unauthorized person may have been present inside the voters’ hall during time of voting as well as the counting of elector votes.”

Williams was terminated Monday afternoon from his position as a police officer with the Piedmont Police Department, for what the police chief said were “numerous violations of departmental and city policies, including conduct unbecoming of a police officer,” while Williams was both on and off duty in Piedmont.

According to Alabama election law, since the recount did not change the results of the election, Williams will lose the $500 security he provided to pay for the recount.

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.

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