Election Commission Certifies Marvene Noel Election Despite Concerns "It Doesn't Pass The Smell Test"

  • Wednesday, September 21, 2022

The Election Commission on Wednesday morning certified the District 8 election in which Marvene Noel won by 70 votes, though Commissioner Jerry Summers said "it doesn't pass the smell test."

Chairman Mike Walden also expressed concerns related to the conduct of city officials. He said, "We asked them not to swear in Ms. Noel before we had certified the election, but they said they were going to do it anyway."

He said, "To me that raises concerns."

Ms. Noel was sworn in for a full term by City Judge Sherry Paty at the start of the City Council meeting on Tuesday night.

The other candidate, Marie Mott, on Tuesday filed an election complaint with the election office, citing involvement in the campaign by Mayor Tim Kelly and certain other city officials in behalf of Ms. Noel, who is the interim District 8 representative. City Attorney Emily O'Donnell said the mayor has the right to endorse candidates and it did not violate state law as alleged by Ms. Mott.

The vote to certify the election was 4-0. Attorney Summers said it is the job of the Election Commission to make sure elections are run properly. He said the other issues could be handled in Chancery Court.

He said, "I am not making accusations, but there are things in here that raise concerns. It would concern me as a lawyer." 

Chairman Walden said once the election is certified, then Ms. Mott was free to file a lawsuit in Chancery Court.

Malarie Marsh, who was one of three candidates for the post in the Aug. 4 election and did not qualify for the runoff, also filed a complaint. She said certain people went to the polls and were turned away.

Scott Allen, election administrator, said that issue had been checked out. He said in the countywide election at one site there was voting for both District 8 and District 9. He said anyone who was turned away was in District 9 and not eligible for the District 8 voting. 

The election cost the city $46,588.


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