A judge has ordered a new special election for an alderman seat in Aberdeen, Mississippi, after more than three-quarters of absentee ballots cast in the Democrat runoff election last June were found to be invalid, the Monroe Journal reported. In a separate order, Judge Jeff Weill, of Jackson, also issued a bench warrant for the arrest of a notary who was involved in the fraudulent election.
Dallas Jones is charged with voter fraud. She is the notary who admitted to notarizing absentee ballots without seeing people actually signing the documents. Bond is set at $500. A new runoff election for Ward 1 in Aberdeen has been ordered by Judge Jeff Weill Sr.#WCBI pic.twitter.com/VYl10ic6vc
— WCBI News (@WCBINEWS) March 1, 2021
Candidate Robert Devaull filed the election contest last July against fellow Democrat Nicholas Holliday, who was certified as the winner of the Ward 1 alderman race. The results showed Devaull receiving 44 percent of the vote, compared to Holliday’s 56 percent in the June 16, 2020 Democratic run-off. The final tally of votes was 177 for Holliday and 140 for Devaull.
Although the fraud occurred on a very small scale, the details are eerily similar to the thousands of voter fraud allegations in the 2020 general election.
According to court documents, the election was fraught with substantial irregularities regarding the accepting and rejecting of absentee ballots. The court also concluded that errors were made in accepting and rejecting challenged ballots. The judge determined that a whopping 78 percent of the mail-in ballots proved to be invalid.
The Court documents state; “an election in which 66 ballots have been handled erroneously and in which the winner led by only 37 votes is an election in which these erroneously accepted or rejected ballots could change the results of the election. Since no one knows who those 66 ballots were voted for, it is clear that the will of the voters is impossible to discern, and there can be no confidence in the integrity of the outcome of the vote.”
Judge Weill also brought up evidence of criminal voter intimidation and harassment at the polling place in his decision.
“The court is of the opinion there is probable cause that several individuals involved in the disturbances during election day at the polling precinct ‘willfully and corruptly violated’ one or more of the above criminal statutes,” the judge said. “The court will leave to the appropriate authorities to determine whether the actions of Maurice Howard, Henry Randle and S. Nicholas Holliday amounted to prosecutable crimes.”
According to the Monroe Journal, Weill was referring to Police Chief Henry Randle and former Mayor Maurice Howard, who were allegedly “involved in intimidation and harassment at the polling police on Election Day.”
In a separate result, Judge Weill ordered a bench warrant and set bond at $500 for Dallas Jones, who notarized absentee ballots for the election. According to court documents, Jones admitted to clear violations of notary duties, WCBI reported.
“When you have an absentee ballot, there’s an envelope, you vote, fold the ballot, put it in an envelope, lick the flap, sign across the flap, then notary signs your election certificate, she testified that she didn’t sign in front of anybody, didn’t see anybody sign it, she just notarized it, just stamped them,” said Lydia Quarles, attorney for Robert Devaull.
In fact, Jones testified that she was called to the home of then Alderwoman Lady Garth in June to correct her father’s absentee ballot paperwork. While there, Jones testified she notarized “about 30 something ballots.”
The judge also found that 83 regular ballots were counted without being initialed by election workers.
This is Aberdeen Interim Mayor Lady Garth’s home. Notary Dallas Jones testified in person that she was called here in June and notarized “about 30 something ballots”. Judge Jeff Weill Sr ordered Jones arrested for her actions and also orders a new election #WCBI pic.twitter.com/urmummXYDI
— AllieWCBI (@AllieWcbi) March 1, 2021
BOMBSHELL: 78% Of Mail-In Ballots Proved Fraudulent, Judge Orders Do-Over in Mississippi Runoff Election — Notary, Dallas Jones, Arrested. pic.twitter.com/n8nDUInLAp
— djcalligraphy (@DJcalligraphy) March 4, 2021
Devaull said he is hopeful that the judge’s order for a new election will result in a cleaner contest for the Ward 1 seat.
“It was always a lot of distraction in Ward 1, that’s what I said earlier, I would like to see, going forward, that be cleaned up, people being able to come and go, vote for who they want to,” Devaull told WCBI.
Aberdeen City Attorney Walter Zinn, who represents Holliday, released the following statement responding to the judge’s ruling:
Upon review of the orders by the Special Judge, my client and I are left offended in part and befuddled by the ruling of the court. While we respect this legal process and the days of deliberation of each party, the findings of fact are grossly inconsistent with testimony of the witnesses and reflect more of the “copied and pasted” sentiments of the Defendant than what the record from the proceedings would affirm.
While left disappointed with these findings, we will explore all the legal remedies afforded to Mr. Holliday under the law including but not limited to a request for the Court to reconsider its findings; a judgment notwithstanding the verdict or new trial; or the appellate process. We are very concerned with the mass disenfranchising of voters, who never testified or subpoenaed to Court; poll workers conduct was attacked, but never listed in name, nor called to testify.
There are serious legal and ethical implications from the ruling that we are compelled to explore. We know that this verdict does not reflect the sentiments of the majority of voters of Aberdeen and will seek relief where the law and circumstances allow. Mr. Holliday personally would like to thank all of his supporters for their prayers and support through this process.
Notary Dallas Jones has been released on bond.