Ballot changes in River Falls

Published 1:15 am Friday, August 10, 2012

Town council candidates in the Town of River Falls have been reclassified for the Aug. 28 municipal election.

The announcement came Thursday following a Star-News article reported at least one candidate was qualified to run in the wrong district.

Newly appointed town clerk Mary Andrews submitted a new district map and an updated list of candidates to The Star-News Thursday, which showed district lines were not located as outlined by a previous map used by candidates. The new map also revealed that not one, but three candidates were qualified to run for seats in the wrong district.

Andrews said she is attempting to make sense of the municipal election process, as it is her first.

“I’m trying,” she said. “I know this is the right district map because it’s shaded. It doesn’t have any districts outlined, but we’re working on that.”

According to the first list of qualified candidates provided by the town, longtime councilman Loy Roy Morgan, a resident of Ferrell Road, qualified for the district 1, place 1 seat. He was unopposed.

In following the official map, Andrews said she has determined that, based on the candidates’ physical addresses, Morgan now faces opposition from three candidates – Cleveland Harris Jr., Willie Howard Jr. and Richard Bowden.

Both Harris and Howard were initially qualified to run for the town’s district 2, place 1, seat against the incumbent Mattie Freeney.

Bowden was qualified to for run for the district 2, place 5 seat against the incumbent Olene Beam.

Freeney and Beam, along with district 1, place 3 candidate Hamner Curry, now face no opposition for their respective seats.

Choices for district 1, place 2 remain the same – the incumbent Leo G. Smith and James Gary Wages.

Andrews said she has ordered new ballots for the upcoming election reflecting the candidate changes.

Currently, and at the request of The Star-News, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office is researching the legal potential issues surrounding this election.