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Barzizza files suit against Election Commission


Germantown Alderman John Barzizza has filed a lawsuit in Shelby County Chancery Court contesting the results of the Nov. 6 mayoral election.
Barzizza stated, “the Shelby County Election Commission has failed to provide us with accurate reporting of all ballots in this election, therefore we have decided to contest the results of this election to ensure that every legitimate voter who sought to participate in the election has their vote counted.”
Barzizza won three of the four metrics in the election — early voting, election day and provisional ballots.
“Should the Election Commission provide us with proof the totals are accurate, I will be the first one to congratulate Mike Palazzolo and concede this election,” he said.
The provisional ballots were confirmed last month and Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo was determined to officially maintain his office after a close race against Barzizza.
Barzizza received 21 provisional votes to Palazzolo’s 16. However, the incumbent had enough absentee ballots to earn his second term.
Barzizza garnered the most election day votes, 2,886 to 2,885. He also received one more endorsement in early voting, 7,056 to 7,055.
However, Palazzolo got the absentee vote total, 301 to 174.
A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there are questions about a given voter’s eligibility that must be resolved before the vote can count.
Earlier this month, Administrator of Elections for the Shelby County Election Commission Linda Phillips stressed that the confirmation process was lengthy.
“This process takes time. So, it will be days before the cumulative totals for each race has been determined,” she said on Nov. 7.
Phillips said officials at the election commission sorted and totaled the provisional ballots for the race over the last few weeks.
Raw numbers were released during election week. These were made up of green provisional ballots, green ballots marked with a sticker and orange ballots.
People whose names were unable to be located on the voter registration rolls voted on a green paper ballot. Those whose names were not found in the rolls and did not have a photo ID voted on green paper ballots marked with a sticker. People whose names appeared in the registration records but did not have a photo ID voted on orange paper ballots.
According to Suzanne Thompson, PR consultant with the Shelby County Election Commission, each ballot was examined to ensure that it was cast by a voter registered in Shelby County.
“Every ballot cast by a duly registered person will be included in the final count,” she said. “After researching the ballots, election officials offer a recommendation on whether to include it in the final vote count.”

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