Sunday, January 13, 2013

January 13, 2013 Chancellor Orders New LBTD Referendum

A new liquor-by-the-drink (LBTD) referendum will be held in Pigeon Forge.

On the first day of the election contest/trial in Sevier Chancery Court, a few preliminary motions were disposed of and then Chancellor Telford Forgety ordered a new referendum. Click here and here.

LBTD passed by a 100-vote margin in a November 6 referendum in Pigeon Forge. Shortly afterwards, however, it was alleged that the number of votes cast in the election exceeded the number of eligible voters by about 300 votes.

Concerned Citizens and Churches of Pigeon Forge filed suit against the Sevier County Election Commission to contest the referendum. CCCPF claimed that the approximately 300 "extra" votes cast in the referendum were "illegal" votes and made the results of the election "incurably uncertain."

Initially, the Election Commission referred to the 300 "extra" votes as "improper." Depositions were taken. Then on January 9th, the day before the trial, the Sevier County Election Commission held a meeting and unanimously instructed its lawyer to tell the Court that the Election Commission agrees that the results of the LBTD referendum are "incurably uncertain" which is the legal standard for overturning an election. Click here and here.

With the Defendant Election Commission admitting/stipulating to the Court on the day of trial that the results of the referendum were "incurably uncertain" as alleged by Plaintiff CCCPF, the Chancellor's ruling--barring some unanticipated or unforeseen development--was not in doubt.

The parties and the voters in Pigeon Forge will now gear up for another LBTD referendum.

Previous posts and links are here.

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