Politics
3:37 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Pitts Files Lawsuit in Fulton Chairman's Race

Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts
Credit Lisa George/WABE

Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts is suing the county, and Commission Chairman John Eaves, to try to force another round of voting for the chair’s seat.

Broadcast Version

  Pitts lost the primary election for the post by about 300 votes, and a recount did not change that.

His attorney, William Hill, says the ballot was flawed because it did not have the word “chairman” on it. “We do have voters who have advised us that they were confused,” said Hill “They came to vote. They voted with reference to those commissioners, those districts that they recognized. And when they looked for the chairmanship race and couldn’t find it, they simply didn’t vote in District 7.”

Pitts is asking a judge to put the race on the July 22 primary run-off ballot. However, Michael Barnes, from the Kennesaw State University Elections Center, which prepares the ballots under contract to the state, says it is too late for that. He says the ballots have already been prepared, and counties were allowed to start sending them out to absentee voters last week.

In an email to WABE, Barnes also says other counties do have the wording on ballots noting which race is for chair of the county commission, but he says Fulton County did not request it.

Pitts responded to questions about the cost of the lawsuit in a news conference Wednesday morning, saying, “If we are successful in having an expedited disposition of this case, it won’t cost the taxpayers one dime. The money is already in place.”

And John Eaves responded in an interview with WABE. “Even if the money is already there, it’s going to be expended to defend this lawsuit," said Eaves. "And so, to say that there is no cost to the taxpayer in terms of funds or in terms of the use of personnel is not true.”

Even if Pitts wins another vote in court, it still will not decide the election. Republican Earl Cooper is on the ballot in November.