Hamilton, Marion Election Commissions Have Rare Joint Session Over Knotty Elder Mountain Election

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Election commissions for Hamilton County and Marion County held a rare joint session on Wednesday to try to work out details of a confusing election situation on Elder Mountain.

Property on the brow road on Elder Mountain is split by the county line - with some residents deemed in Marion and others in Hamilton.

Chancellor Frank Brown had thrown out the results of an election last August in which 21 Elder Mountain residents voted for being deannexed from the city of Chattanooga and 20 were against the city pulling out.

Saying there were a number of election irregularities, he set a new vote for March.

Susan Rich, who filed suit to overturn the election, was at the Wednesday meeting with her attorney, John Konvalinka. Also present at the Hamilton County Election Commission headquarters were four members of the Marion County Election Commission as well as city of Chattanooga attorneys.

It was finally agreed that both early voting and the March 5 election will be handled by Hamilton County.

All those deemed to be qualified voters - about 54 - are to be notified by certified mail and other methods, including newspaper legal notices.

Chris Clem, attorney for the Hamilton County Election Commission, said there are about 36 Marion County voters and about 18 Hamilton County voters.

They will be allowed to vote either during early voting or on election day.

Marion County officials noted that this is not the first confusing situation for them. The city of Monteagle is in three different counties - Grundy, Franklin and Marion - with Grundy handling the voting. 

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