Hazlehurst mayoral race voting issues head to court

Hazlehurst mayoral race voting issues head to court

HAZLEHURST, GA (WTOC) - Just two votes made the difference in Hazlehurst's Mayoral Election earlier this month.

But one side would like at least two votes thrown out, maybe more.

Current Mayor Jack Cole brought two witnesses to court who said a relative of challenger Bayne Stone paid them in cash to vote and drove them to the poll. Cole's attorney also claimed a handful of ballots had two sets of handwriting as if someone helped the voter cast the ballot but failed to sign the affidavit.

"We have more than enough evidence for the judge to rule in our favor. I have full faith in the law," said Mayor Cole.

His attorney also claimed another voter cited an address where she doesn't live to cast her vote. But Stone countered the woman does technically live elsewhere inside the city. He also argued to Judge Gary McCorbey that the discrepancies with the early and absentee ballots was due to incomplete directions from the poll workers and not fraud.

"It was an error in how they filled out the form. And it was repetitive over and over again," said Stone.

Mayor Cole's attorney argued that more than 400 other voters filled out their ballot correctly. The judge told both groups he'll review what they gave him and the law - both the letter and the spirit of it.

Judge McCorbey said he'd consider all this and hopefully have a decision next week.

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