A judge recently ruled in favor of Anniston City Councilman Ben Little concerning a challenge to his 2016 election victory brought on by his former opponent, Seyram Selase.
“The court finds that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact in the case,” Judge John Rochester ruled Aug. 31.
Selase and his attorney, George Monk, challenged Little’s victory on Oct. 4, 2016. Selase alleged that “misconduct, fraud, or corruption” on the part of an election official working at a polling place resulted in the counting of votes for Little by people who do not live in Ward 3.
He also alleged that votes were cast illegally by voters who should not have voted by absentee ballot under state law.
Little won the runoff election by 10 votes.
Speaking at a council meeting Tuesday, Little said he felt very good about the ruling.
“I think everything is well and just as it should be,” he said.
Little said he only wishes that the “senseless drilling” of elderly voters as part of the court proceedings could have been avoided.
Monk, Selase’s attorney, sent a statement concerning the decision.
“We are confident a concerted effort by Councilman Little and his confederates resulted in voting irregularities,” Monk wrote. “The precise evidence was difficult to obtain because of the death of a number of such voters soon after the election.”
The statement also said that Selase thanks Anniston residents for their prayers and support and that he wishes “for the healing of the city.”
“His election contest was necessary and stands as a signal to anyone who in the future seeks to abuse the absentee voting process, showing that such actions will be scrutinized and acted upon,” Monk wrote.
The costs of the court proceedings will be Selase’s responsibility, according to Rochester’s ruling.