Judge rules on several challenges to Jeffersonville city council - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Judge rules on several challenges to Jeffersonville city council voting results

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A ruling in court today could change elections: A judge made a decision on several challenges to Jeffersonville City Council results, where just a handful of votes separated winners from losers.

As few as eight to 15 votes separated winners and losers vying for seats on Jeffersonville's City Council.

Two candidates who lost -- one Republican, Steve Webb, and one Democrat, Kevin Vissing -- asked for recounts, and a Clark County Circuit Court judge ruled it will happen, with a deadline of Dec. 20.

"On Election Day there was a defect on absentee ballots, so any ballot defectively printed was not counted on Election Day, but was remade by individuals sitting downstairs in a room to try to reflect voter intent," said Larry Wilder, an attorney for some of the candidates.

Now those 1,000 defective ballots will be re-counted by hand. 

"Equal number of Republicans and Democrats, one of each sitting at a table looking at each ballot, and if they don't agree with whether the ballot should be counted, then it's marked as an exhibit, and the recount commission will hear arguments from lawyers about whether it should be counted," Wilder said.

That's not all: another issue deals with the eligibility of one of the winners, Republican Matt Owen. Clark County Democrat chairman Tom Galligan filed a request to exclude Owen from the recount process because he works for New Chapel EMS, which Galligan says provides fire service to the city of Jeffersonville. 

Owen says that shouldn't change the results.

"I think this is more of a tactic to divert attention from the actual recount process," Owen said. "The person who has brought this is the former mayor of Jeffersonville, and he knows my employer doesn't provide any fire protection to the city. He knows that."

"He's alleged to be an EMT, Firefighter, and marketing rep," said Ken Pierce, Galligan's attorney. "Hopefully his candidacy is valid and nothing untoward done. My client hired me to make sure that's the case."

Republicans hold a majority on the city council right now, but that could change with this recount. 

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