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

The numbers game: Final votes for BOE seat under review in official challenge

The names of at least 392 students will be called out before Judge James Roberts Tuesday as 397 of the votes cast in the Tuscaloosa Municipal Election are reviewed in the Circuit Court of Tuscaloosa County in an ongoing investigation into the Aug. 27 election.

Kelly Horwitz, the incumbent and losing candidate for the District 4 Board of Education seat, challenged the votes after allegations of voter fraud and bribery surfaced following the race against Cason Kirby. Horwitz lost the election to Kirby by 72 votes. Of the 41 provisional votes cast, 19 were counted, bringing the election results to Kirby 416 and Horwitz 329.

Oct. 11, Horwitz filed a list of the names of all individuals whose votes are being reviewed. The motives for contesting each vote are listed alongside the voter’s name and include reasons such as votes being “tainted by misconduct, fraud, or corruption or offers to bribe, bribery, intimidation or other misconduct,” ineligibility to vote or inability to meet residency requirement.

Horwitz filed another memorandum Monday, delineating accusations even further, citing evidence that alleges students registered to vote with residences that were not their own and were bribed to vote with drinks and other incentives. The memorandum also notes the large amount of provisional ballots cast in the election.

Horwitz’s attorney James Anderson said the residency requirements could simply mean a student did not live in his or her place of residence for 30 days before the elections. Other ineligibilities could include not living at the registered address or the proper district to vote.

The memorandum focuses largely on the involvement of the greek community in the elections, highlighting that 375 members of fraternities and sororities turned out to vote. Of the 375, 302 votes were from sorority members and 73 came from fraternity members. Voters came from 16 Panhellenic sororities and 15 fraternities.

Excerpts of emails and Facebook messages sent from Zeta Tau Alpha, Delta Gamma, Alpha Omicron Pi, Chi Omega, Kappa Delta and a fraternity list serve were included in the memorandum as well.

The emails from Zeta Tau Alpha, Delta Gamma, Alpha Omicron Pi and Chi Omega all urge members, from demanding to suggesting, to vote for Kirby.

Incentives listed in the emails include free wristbands for drinks at Moe’s and Innisfree and Panhellenic points, as well as tickets to the Backstreet Boys concert for members of Phi Mu who voted, according to the memorandum.

In the email from Delta Gamma, the message reads, “I have a list of who registered to vote, so if you registered, GO VOTE. Remember, we worked very hard to get to this point, and this is our opportunity to show that we are here to stay!”

Horwitz uses this statement as evidence in a larger argument that the election was part of a “system-wide scheme by the Machine to elect Cason Kirby by offering illegal incentives to their members to turn them out to vote for him.” Horwitz notes that the reference in the email from the Delta Gamma representative was referring to Delta Gamma’s newly acquired status as a member of the Machine, “which they do not want to lose.”

In an emailed statement from Andy Campbell, Kirby’s attorney, Campbell denied all claims Kirby was involved in fraudulent acts surrounding the election.

“There is absolutely no showing of what specific students received any social messages, what specific students acted on the basis of any social messages, that my client had anything to do with them or that any students accepted a free drink as a result,” the statement read. “Nor is there any evidence that a free drink was tied to a vote for Cason Kirby.”

Campbell said Horwitz is “seeking is to disenfranchise an entire class of student voters based on supposition and not evidence.”

“The contestant in her filing has used misstatements, innuendo and a handful of emails from students to argue that there was widespread bribery and illegal voting in this election,” the statement read. “This is not only untrue and unsupported by the evidence, it is totally at odds with Ala. law.”

Anderson said students who are listed in the memorandum have not been officially notified that their vote is under review. He said depending on what is decided Tuesday, the students could potentially be subpoenaed to testify at a future date.

The documentes are open to the public and can be viewed online at

The votes will be considered Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 9 a.m. in the Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court, located at 714 Greensboro Ave.


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