Special Election Throws Future Of SCS Board In Question

(Memphis) There is uncertainty on the Shelby County School Board as it prepares to drop down from 23 to just seven members in two weeks.

One of those seats is vacant from Reginald Porter’s resignation so he can work for the district, and now a judge is ordering a re-vote for the seat held by Kevin Woods.

Woods beat Kenneth Whalum for the District 4 seat by just more than 100 votes, but a judge ruled that election doesn’t count because more than 600 votes were improperly cast in that election two years ago.

The judge says major voting problems include voters being turned away or casting the wrong ballots.

“Well at the end of the day we’re obviously disappointed that the judge ruled the way he did,” said Woods.

Woods’s attorney says he hasn’t made a decision on appealing the ruling, which could put a re-vote off until next year.

Whalum is celebrating the ruling as a victory and second chance.

“This is the first time in the history of Memphis and Shelby County that a candidate took advantage of legal recourse and got a favorable ruling from he court,” said Whalum.

If Woods decides to appeal, everything freezes while a judge considers the appeal.

Whalum’s attorney is opposing that stay of election.

Woods says he expects an appeal could take six months and the election couldn’t happen for two and a half months, but by next August all the district will change anyway because the board is going from seven to 13, so Woods and Whalum may not even be in the same district.

Whalum isn’t letting that discourage him.

“I’m going to run harder than a Kenyan in a marathon, and I’m going to run harder than I’ve ever run,” said Whalum.

Woods says if they do have another election this November he’ll be ready to keep his seat.

“I think my work is going to speak for itself. I think if there was a new election I think the community would continue to back me as they have for he past two years,” said Woods.

The election commission says they are waiting to make a decision on the election date to see if there is an appeal and for their attorneys to finish reviewing the opinion.

They say it’s hard to it an exact number on the price of the election but they guess it would be about $50,000 of tax payer money.

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