Ward two elections lawsuit dismissed

Former Ward two candidate Melissa Strother / File

The petition to contest election results filed by former Ward two candidate Melissa Strother has been dismissed by Superior Court Judge Joe Bishop.

In court documents, Bishop says elections officials showed "indifference" to informing voters that candidate Cheryl Calhoun had been disqualified and any votes for her would be nullified.

Calhoun received 204 votes in the election, which would have prevented candidate, Ivy Hines, from winning the election if they had been counted against the total number of votes cast as irregular ballots.

Judge Bishop dismissed the case, saying a special process was not followed when the appeal was filed, since papers were served to Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson instead of the Board of Elections.

If a court of appeals overturns Bishop's decision, voters could be called to the polls again in a special election.

In response, Strother's attorney, Bo Dorough, released the following statement:

"The Board of Elections must, in the interim, accept responsibility, and hold the election supervisor to account, for the blatant mismanagement of the special election held on November 8, 2011. Ms. Strother's desire to serve and improve this community should be an inspiration to us all. I regret that procedural mistakes I made prevented her from receiving a fair election, as Judge Bishop ruled the election would have been invalidated had we named and served the Board of Elections."