Supreme court rules in favor of Baker County Sheriff
The Supreme Court of Georgia has ruled in favor of Baker County Sheriff Dana Meade by reversing a superior court ruling that found enough irregularities in his runoff election that it declared the election invalid and ordered a new election.
This Supreme Court ruling means Sheriff Meade will complete his four year term.
After a run-off election in 2012, Meade was accused wrongdoings by bribing voters with money and liquor to cast a vote in his favor.
In Monday's Supreme Court Opinion Analysis, Justice Robert Benham stated that the evidence presented by 2012 Sheriff Candidate Tim Williamson falls short of demonstrating systemic irregularities in the election process.
During a run-off election back in 2012, Sheriff Meade, the incumbent, beat Williamson by 39 votes and the Baker County Board of Elections and Registration declared Meade the Winner.
Sheriff Candidate Tim Williamson filed a petition in superior court contesting the election results and naming Meade and the elections board as defendants.
In addition to claims that Sheriff Meade bribed voters, Williamson alleged that the elections board allowed a known felon to assist eight voters in casting their ballots; and that 14 absentee ballots counted for the sheriff had been tampered with.
After analyzing each of the challenged votes and reviewing evidence, Georgia Supreme court officials found, for example, that only one witness testified he had been given money in exchange for his vote. They stated that with a margin of victory of 39 votes, even if all 14 of the disputed absentee ballots were changed from Meade TMs tally to Williamson TMs and the one vote for which there was evidence of vote buying were deducted from Meade TMs total votes, the result of the election would not be changed.