Dist. 4 School board race dispute makes its way into court - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Dist. 4 School board race dispute makes its way into court

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TUSCALOOSA - AL -

There were tense moments in a Tuscaloosa courtroom Tuesday over the District 4 School board race dispute.

Civil Circuit Judge James Roberts held a status hearing for Horwitz's lawyers to present proof some votes may have been tainted.

Cason Kirby was in good spirits as he walked into the courtroom - greeting media in the hallway.  "Good morning," he said.

Kelly Horwitz is challenging Kirby's victory in the August election.  She lost by 87 votes.  Horwitz attorneys argued 397 students cast illegal ballots.  The believe they can prove at-least 144 of those by using the addresses students listed on their school records at the University of Alabama.  "We say those people have not made the city of Tuscaloosa their domicile. We have 93 people who changed their voter registration within in 30 days of the election. They were registered at home," said Horwitz attorney, James Anderson.

However, Kirby's lawyer, Andrew Campbell told Judge Roberts, Horwitz has no specific evidence and that she shouldn't be allowed to call all of those students to court to go on a "fishing expedition.'  "We still don't know any specific voters they're claiming are illegal. The haven't identified any. They have a list of 400 names but they're not claiming that many but they want to tells us which ones."

Horwitz contends some are also linked to students who were coerced into voting for Cason Kirby.

At-least three emails allegedly sent out by Greek organizations on campus offered free drinks or concert tickets in exchange for student votes.

Kirby's lawyers say he had nothing to do with it and pointed out the drink parties were canceled anyway.

Still, Horwitz attorneys argued -- she should be allowed to seek the truth. "They don't want somebody to have to testify under oath because they know they'll tell the truth about what happened and that this election that he won is going to slip away."

Judge Roberts took the arguments under advisement and did not rule on whether there's evidence to allow the election trial to move forward.  If he does, the trial is tentatively scheduled to begin October 31st.

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