A highly anticipated hearing in Screven County lasted more than three hours last week and yielded a decision by a judge to order a new election after testimony revealed ‘irregularities’ in the 2022 election.
On November 18, 2022, Screven County Commissioners Allison Willis and Mike Dixon, candidate for county commissioner in District 1 Tyler Thompson, Vicki T. Reddick, and Michael Lloyd Waters, filed a lawsuit against Elections Superintendent Debbie Brown, Elections Supervisor Hannah Derriso, and Commissioner Edwin Lovett. The five contended that the wrong ballots had been issued to at least two dozen voters in District 1, and that the incorrect ballots may have had an impact on the county commission race in that district that had a margin of just seven votes.
On December 4, 2022, attorneys for Brown, Derriso, and Lovett filed a response, arguing that they were the wrong parties to sue and that the Chief Registrar should be sued instead. Tenured Chief Registrar Dorothy Glisson was added to the suit shortly thereafter, but the plaintiffs did not drop the suit against the other three, in which they asked a judge to order a new election for the District 1 county commission race.
Senior Judge Michael Karpf, a longtime judge from Chatham County, was appointed in November to oversee the proceedings and he subsequently scheduled a hearing for December 22.
The courtroom was fairly full Thursday with upwards of thirty people in attendance, including Commission Chairman Will Boyd, Commissioner John Triplett, and Commissioner Rosa Romeo who was seen dozing off on a handful of occasions during the three hour hearing at the courthouse.
Watch Part 1 of the hearing
Watch Part 2 of the hearing