Karl Banks may have started a fight over his loss in court but David Bishop didn't mind hitting him back today as he filed a response in Madison County Circuit Court today. You know the story. Madison County District 4 Supervisor and 32-year incumbent Karl Banks lost by two votes to challenger David Bishop. Banks filed a lawsuit in court that seeks to restore several absentee and affidavit ballots to the election results that oddly enough would make him the winner.
Most of the response goes back and forth over denying Banks the votes he seeks to add to the final tally while seeking to disqualify thirteen Banks votes and add one Bishop vote that were disqualified. However, Bishop charges ballot tampering on page 21:
However, on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, Petitioner/Cross-Respondent Banks, and others affiliated with the Banks campaign orchestrated with two poll managers and District 4 Commissioner Azzie L. Jackson Adams to go to the Courthouse and attempt to alter and/or tamper with certain affidavit ballot envelopes, thereby attempting to alter the outcome of the election. When a quorum of the Election Commission arrived at the Courthouse, three Commissioners, led by Commissioner Adams, in fact were granted access to the balloting materials, and Commissioner Adams actually accessed affidavit ballots. On information and belief, one of the poll managers told another election official that she had been called to come to the Courthouse and sign ballots. This attempt to tamper with and alter ballot envelopes is clearly illegal under Mississippi law.Bishop also claims the ballot boxes were left unsealed as well:
35. The Election Commission at no time “re-stuffed” any affidavit ballots into opened envelopes. On information and belief, the opened affidavit ballots were placed and sealed in the same strong box as other paper ballots—in plain view of the public—on Thursday afternoon, November 5, 2015, in advance of the official canvas of the Madison County election returns.
36. Yet, when Bishop and Banks conducted their respective ballot examinations the week of November 16, 2015, as provided by Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-911, both parties discovered that opened affidavit ballots envelopes contained purported paper ballots.
37. Tampering, or attempting to tamper, with balloting materials is unlawful, and also impugns the integrity of the balloting materials. Because of the absence of a seal log, and because purported ballots of some kind appear to have been “stuffed” into opened affidavit ballot envelopes by someone other than the Election Commission, and in light of the incident orchestrated by Petitioner and others on November 10, 2015, there is a fundamental question surrounding the integrity of the “re-stuffed” ballots. Strict proof that the purported ballots are authentic and unaltered is therefore required before any such ballots are accessed, re-counted, or otherwise offered in this action in an effort to set aside the certification of Bishop as the candidate receiving the greatest number of legal votes cast in the November 3, 2015 General Election for Madison County Supervisor, District 4.
Once the Election Commission had finished its unofficial hand count of the Supervisor District 4 ballots, it canvased the election returns for the rest of Madison County on Friday, November 6, 2015.The case has been assigned to Special Circuit Judge Henry Lackey.
31. While the ballots and envelopes were sealed in separate strong boxes by the Election Commission, no seal log was maintained, contrary to Mississippi law, such that there is no way to determine whether the seals affixed to the ballot boxes have remained inviolate. There is no way to tell if anyone broke seals, and then replaced new seals on the ballot boxes.
Earlier post with copy of Banks petition.