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Forest Park winner sues election superintendent

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

Maudie McCord, who recently won the Ward 3 council seat in a Dec. 4 runoff election against incumbent, David Halcome, is suing the superintendent of the election for allegedly not certifying the results in a timely manner.

On Dec. 12, McCord filed a complaint in Clayton County Superior Court against elections supervisor Sandra Norwood.

The suit alleges that Norwood had "neglected to uphold the law" by failing to certify the results of the Nov. 6 election, and the subsequent Dec. 4 runoff, by noon the following day.

The suit claims the action "forms a pattern by the Defendant, who has, on more than one occasion, neglected to act in accordance with the law." It demands that Norwood "be found guilty of a misdemeanor."

McCord said the lawsuit is necessary to end what she believes to be criminal wrongdoing. "As I understand, the certification is supposed to happen the next day, no later than 12 o'clock that morning," said McCord. "I never heard from her until that Friday. I feel that there was a lack of communication.

"I feel like they have to make some changes ... this is the only way I know how to get someone to fix it," McCord said.

Norwood, who had not yet been served papers , said the "allegation is not correct" and that the results were delayed in order to properly identify provisional ballots. She said there was one provisional ballot counted in both the Nov. 6 and Dec. 4 elections.

"Any time you hand the provisional ballot out, you have to give them 48 hours to bring the identification in," said Norwood. "This is the way that it is supposed to be done ... you give them 48 hours to answer it."

Norwood said that on Dec. 4 -- the night of the election -- a note was affixed to the door of Forest Park City Hall to inform the candidates that the vote consolidation would take place on Dec. 7 at around 11 a.m.

"I ran a clean election and I'm not ashamed of it," said Norwood. "She won the race. What is she trying to do? What is the point?"

As of Thursday, neither McCord nor Norwood had yet sought legal counsel and Norwood had not yet received a summons from Superior Court. Norwood will have 30 days to respond to the allegations, once the summons is received.