Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Horwitz files motion to continue case

Kelly Horwitz, the contestant in the District 4 Board of Education election contest, filed a “Motion to Alter, Amend or Vacate” Monday, asking the court to “set aside” its Nov. 13 order dismissing the contest between her and current District 4 Board of Education Rep Cason Kirby.

The motion states “the Court’s finding that there could be no more than ‘70 potentially illegal votes’ is contrary to the weight of the evidence and contrary to law.” Horwitz said they found 89 potentially illegal votes, “before even addressing the question of domicile as to any voter.” That is two votes more than the 87 Horwitz needed to previously present in order to overturn the election.

“We respectively disagree with the judge’s interpretation of what is required to establish domicile, particularly with college students,” James Anderson, Horwtiz’s attorney, said.

The motion goes on to outline the contestant’s argument that further votes have been found to be illegal for reasons such as the voter having moved out of District 4 by the day of the election or the voter having misrepresented their residence, which voids their registration.

According to the motion, “Two of those voters (who are fraternity brothers) claimed to live in Graves Hall College of Education on their voter registration, and another voter claimed to live in the Ferguson Center on his voter registration. The Contestant provided this Court with an affidavit from The University of Alabama showing that no students reside in the College of Education of [sic] Ferguson Center.”

The motion also includes evidence presented to the court pertaining to the allegations of bribery. The evidence includes screenshots of Facebook messages, emails and tweets from students.

“Additionally, this Court’s finding that the emails, Facebook messages and screenshots which provided proof that students were offered wristbands redeemable for free alcohol and concert tickets in exchange for voting did not constitute ‘admissible’ evidence misses the point. The evidence was proffered to the Court for the purpose of urging the Court to lift its restriction on deposing students, since the authors of the emails and Facebook messages offering the inducements were all students,” the motion stated.

In a statement released Monday, Horwitz said, while she does not take issue with students voting, she does take issue with the vague Alabama laws surrounding college students’ voting rights.

“College students have unique voting options under the law,” Horwitz said. “They are entitled to remain ‘domiciled’ in their hometown and continue voting there. Or they can choose to change their domicile to their college community. The question to be answered by the Supreme Court is when a student has made that change.”

Many of the allegations throughout the contest have focused largely on the UA greek system. In her statement Monday, Horwitz addressed the allegations and said many students have come to her with concerns of misconduct in their particular organization, though feared the potential negative repercussions of speaking out.

“To date, no entity has provided protection or assurance to these students,” Horwitz said. “No one has launched an investigation into their allegations. No one has demonstrated a commitment to creating an experience in the greek system where vibrant debate and diversity of viewpoint are at least tolerated, if not encouraged.”

“These decent young men and women are the future of the University of Alabama, and of Tuscaloosa. They deserve to have someone who is willing to speak up for them.”

The contest came in response to the Aug. 27 District 4 Board of Education elections, where Kirby beat Horwitz by 87 votes. Following the election, Horwitz alleged widespread voter fraud, largely focused on the UA greek community, including allegations of free drinks being offered for votes and dishonest voter registration.

Horwitz contested 397 votes from the election, at least 392 of which were cast by students. The testimony of each of the 397 voters was evaluated in the form of a 36-question affidavit.

As the contestant, Horwitz needed to present 87 illegal votes in order to overturn the election results. After reviewing almost 400 affidavits Oct. 31 and Nov. 6, the court found no more than 70 illegal votes, 17 short of the minimum, and dismissed the contest Nov. 13.

“Whatever people think about the election, they ought to find the implications of this ruling disturbing,” Horwitz said.


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