Little Brown declares victory with 31 vote lead; Smoot won’t con - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Little Brown declares victory with 31 vote lead; Smoot won’t concede

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Questions surround one Jefferson County Commission Race with only 31 votes separating the two candidates.

The race in question is between Shelia Smoot And incumbent Sandra Little Brown, who is the unofficial winner for District Two.

Sandra Little Brown and her team have declared victory. We found the commissioner back in her office Wednesday.

“We declared victory because the election is over,” said Little Brown. “The voters spoke well. And so, I’m back at work. I’m just going to move on on the critical issues that we still have pending.”

However, her opponent, Sheila Smoot is not giving up and has not conceded the race.

“I think there are some discrepancies between the two court houses,” said Smoot. “We had some information given to us that something went wrong. They’re very confident something went wrong. I’m not at liberty to tell you who told us that but we were told, and I was called, that these folks believe something went very wrong.”

Smoot says she is talking about absentee ballots turned in to the court houses.

But, Barry Stephenson, chairman of the Jefferson County Board of Registrars, believes all the absentee ballots were counted and Little Brown is 31 votes ahead. 

“Last night, all the votes at the polls were tabulated and all the absentee ballots were tabulated,” said Stephenson. “The only thing that’s left to count are the provisional votes and those will be tabulated next Tuesday.”

Provisional ballots are cast when something goes wrong at the polls.

There were 129 total provisional votes cast in Jefferson County.

40 came from Commission District Two.

“If all of them wind up counting, and that’s never happened, but if all of them wind up counting, she would need to win a margin of 36 to 4 to make up the margin of the vote differential,” said Stephenson.

But Smoot remains focused on her absentee ballot theory.

“We’ve brought in some people already who have contacted us, lawyers and others from the national level who have contacted us who are watching this race and they are also going over some things in their mind that they think they can challenge on if necessary,” said Smoot.

“Let’s work together,” said Little Brown. “I won the race and I’m back at work.”

The provisional ballots Stephenson mentioned will be counted next Tuesday. That is when the count is expected to be official.

Stephenson says there are only re-counts in state run-off elections if a candidate requests one, and will pay for it.

Smoot says she hasn't ruled that out.  She calls it an affordable option, but not her main strategy at this time.

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