Paperwork plays role in election certification
by Chris Norwood
Aug 30, 2011 | 3746 views |  6 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TALLADEGA — It would appear that paperwork will have as much to do with determining the outcome of city’s 2011 municipal elections as voting.

When the City Council meets at noon today, they will be certifying the results of the general election and, possibly giving public notice of the runoff election. But first the council will have to determine whether any runoffs are needed. Provisional ballots will also be addressed today.

All five city school board seats and three seats on the City Council were determined during the general elections. The runoffs would be between former Mayor Larry Barton and former Revenue Commissioner Harvey Bowlin; incumbent Ward 1 representative Horace Patterson and challenger Katie Reynolds and incumbent Ward 2 councilman Eddie Tucker and Jarvis Elston. At least one contender in each of those races failed to file at least one of the required financial forms in a timely fashion, which is required to be certified a nominee or winner under state law.

In Bowlin’s case, he did not file the form designating himself as his finance committee chairman.

“I brought it to City Hall with me when I qualified, and I thought I took it to the courthouse, but maybe I left it and it got lost. I don’t know. But I’ve gotten everything all straightened out now. Everything’s been cleared through the Ethics Commission, it’s all straightened out now,” Bowlin said.

Reynolds filed her committee and a written waiver of the required 50- to 45-day form, but failed to file a 10- to 5-day campaign disclosure form.

Tucker filed no paper work at all until two days after the election, when he filed a 10- to 5-day disclosure form that showed no collections or donations and no campaign expenditures.

Tracy Roberts, deputy general counsel to the Alabama League of Municipalities, explained that the law forbids the certification of any candidate who does not file a required report, and if any candidate is certified, the certification is due to be revoked.

A candidate that files a report after the deadline but before the election can be certified, but still faces misdemeanor charges. If the reports are not filed before the election, he said, the candidate is disqualified.

Today’s meeting begins at noon in the Council Chamber at City Hall.

Contact Chris Norwood at cnorwood@dailyhome.com.