School board election hearing gets wild in court - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Tuscaloosa school board election hearing gets wild in court

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The district four school board challenge became wild in court Monday.  It became clear, Kelly Horwitz and Cason Kirby will fight for every vote they can.

Judge James Roberts is taking affidavits from more than 300 students to determine whether they lived in district four 30 days before the August election.

However, Horwitz's lawyers now question whether some students lied on the affidavits and want to call them into court.  "We had nine people to say they lived at Tutweiler dorm on July 28th. None of them lived in that dorm July 28th," said James for Kelly Horwitz.

The university confirmed no students lived in that dorm throughout the summer.  Kirby's lawyers say perhaps some students just misunderstood. "Students who lived in Tutweiler their freshman year, went home for the Summer and returned and moved into a sorority house -- they're legal voters," explained Andy Campbell.

Horwitz though believes it may show a pattern to mislead.  Her lawyers say out of 200 affidavits examined so far, 89 are questionable. "Addresses that student gave the University of Alabama as their permanent address and they don't match up of being in district four."

They also say some of the addresses listed do not exist.

Even so, Kirby's attorneys told Judge Roberts..that by their math, there's only 79 truly questionable votes.  That's less than the 87 Horwitz would need to prevail in the case.

In the meantime, she recently attended her last school board meeting.  And despite the cloud over the election, Cason Kirby says he's ready to take over. "Absolutely. The new school board takes office on Monday and I am very excited to get to work."

 Judge Roberts did say in open court that he has not seen "one shred of evidence" supporting allegations that students were bribed. 

More affidavits from student voters are expected before the next hearing scheduled for November 6th.

Judge Roberts says that's when he'll tally all of the possible questionable votes and determine whether the election trial should continue or be dismissed.


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