published Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Technical issue delays Grundy election results

Hours after a technical snag with Grundy County, Tenn., voting equipment caused problems with balloting summaries, results in one County Commission race and six municipal elections, including hot contests in Monteagle and Altamont, finally were tallied on Wednesday.

Monteagle's incumbent mayor, Marilyn Campbell Nixon, held onto her seat by more than 100 votes over former mayor Charles Rollins; and Russell L. Leonard, Alexander "Lexie" Orr, Harry Parmley and Alvin Powell Jr. netted the most votes in the nine-way race for four Monteagle alderman seats, records show.

In the Altamont Board of Aldermen race for four open seats, challenger Earl David Campbell, John A. Dickerson, Terry Phillips and Alfred Dwayne "Pig" Whitman led balloting, officials said. In Beersheba Springs, Jackie Eubanks and Glen Jennings garnered the most votes for two seats on the ballot there.

In the lone Grundy County Commission race for an open District 2 seat, Democrat Dennis Jones outpaced Republican Leon Woodlee for the unexpired two-year term for the seat previously held by Monte Meeks, who resigned in July.


Administrator of Elections Donna Basham said Wednesday that a malfunction with the county's MicroVote equipment kept officials from being able to summarize vote tallies from different precincts.

"All our voting machines were fine, it's just that when it was fed into the central [reader] to get the overall summary, the system just kept breaking down," she said. "They had about three precincts to go at midnight and then the printer quit working. It was just one thing after another."

Basham said that officials finally decided around midnight Tuesday to lock up the machines and ballots and call MicroVote for help getting the equipment to work correctly.

Basham said late Wednesday that MicroVote officials brought a working card reader that finally retrieved data from the voting machines so balloting summaries could be produced.

In the contest for two spots on the Tracy City Board of Aldermen, James Conry and Seth Layne netted the majority of votes in a three-way race that included Paul Larry Phipps. Phipps, who now holds the mayor's seat, will remain in that post, according to officials.

In Beersheba Springs, Jackie Eubanks and Glen Jennings garnered more votes for two seats than the third candidate, Larry C. Hall


Republicans dominated two of three races for state House districts 39, 43 and 92 and the race in state Senate District 16, election records show.

In the House District 39 race, Republican David Alexander beat Democrat Doug Clark 66 percent to 34 percent. District 39 consists of all or part of Franklin, Marion and Moore counties.

In the House District 43 race -- Grundy, Warren and White counties -- Democrat Charles Curtiss defeated Republic Robert F. Dunham 52 percent to 48 percent.

In the House District 92 race -- all or part of Franklin, Lincoln, Marion and Marshall counties -- Republican Billy Spivey defeated Democrat Vicki C. Cain 60.6 percent to 39.4 percent, records show.

And, in the state Senate District 16 race, Republican Janice Bowling beat out Democrat Jim Lewis, according to records. The district includes Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Van Buren and Warren counties.

Vote totals do not include federally mandated provisional ballots and are unofficial until certified by the secretary of state's office.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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