Hamilton County Election Commission certifies March 6 presidential primary

Hamilton County Election Commission certifies March 6 presidential primary

March 26th, 2012 by Ansley Haman in Local - Breaking News

Chris Clem

Photo by Robin Rudd/Times Free Press.

Hamilton County Election Commissioners voted today to certify the March 6 presidential preference primary and received an update on an election night decision to file a brief in an appeal of a recent ruling in favor of Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield in several groups' effort to recall him.

The briefs of non-appealing parties will likely be due in April, said Election Commission Attorney Chris Clem. The March 6 vote to file a brief came during a meeting called to count votes from the day's election.

Election Commissioner Jerry Summers questioned why members of the recall effort knew the matter would be discussed at the special meeting when The Times Free Press had been repeatedly told no special items had been added to the agenda.

"When it's something that important, particularly, I think the public has the right to know," Summers said.

Clem and Election Commission Chairman Mike Walden said the matter came up unexpectedly because the appealing parties only filed that morning. Walden defended his record for transparency and public notice, saying his first act as chairman was to set regular meetings.

Democratic Party Chairman Paul Smith asked the Election Commission earlier this year for agendas to be made public before meetings.

This morning Smith asked for guidance about requirements for getting a county term limit referendum on the August or November ballot. He pointed to Knox County, which is a charter government, as an example of a Tennessee county where the two-term limit for county officials is in place.

For more, please read Tuesday's Times Free Press.