Election update: Provisional ballot rejected

Betty BeanFountain City

Updated Thursday, Aug. 31
There’s a growing movement for City Council to decide the race for second place in Tuesday’s District 4 primary by a coin flip. Council members are not eager to choose between Harry Tindell and Amelia Parker. A coin toss gets them off the spot.

However, at least one council member will oppose that.

Nick Pavlis says, “We’ve elected a mayor, seven vice mayors and two council members with the process called for by the charter – not a coin toss, but a vote.

“I don’t think (a coin toss) is fair to the people of the fourth district; I don’t think it’s fair to the candidates. We’re elected to make hard decisions and I won’t be a part of a coin toss.

“This is about process and policy – it’s not about making it easy for members of City Council.

Pavlis, who is leaving office after this election, added: “I hate to go out like this (fighting), but if I have to, I will.”

Updated Wednesday, Aug. 30
The provisional ballot that turned up yesterday has been rejected by the state election commissioner, so the decision on whether Amelia Parker or Harry Tindell challenges Lauren Rider for City Council District 4 is now squarely on Knoxville City Council.
Updated Wednesday, Aug. 30.
The drama continues in the City Council District 4 race for second place.
A stray provisional ballot showed up today. Elections Administrator Cliff Rodgers explains: “The (election) officer didn’t call me to say, ‘Hey, I’ve got one.’ …  The state will decide if this person is eligible to vote. This person is no longer registered in Knox County and Amelia Parker and some of her supporters came down to watch it come in.  This one provisional ballot may or may not be counted, depending on the decision by the state.
“If it’s not counted, we’ll never know who it was for because you never open a rejected ballot.”
We’re not going to know who will face front runner Lauren Rider in November’s District 4 City Council race until after the Knox County Election Commission meets at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 15, to certify the primary election results.
At that point, it will be the responsibility of sitting city council members to decide how they’re going to break the tie for second place between Amelia Parker and Harry Tindell, both of whom finished with 488 votes in unofficial returns. City primaries are decided by district voters, who choose two candidates to proceed to the November general election.
Rider, who got 889 votes, will have to wait at least a couple of weeks to learn who her Nov. 7 opponent will be. City Council could, theoretically, meet as soon as the results are certified. State law requires them to select a method to break the tie.

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