On for April 15, three qualified candidates — Harvey Burchfield, Jeffrey Kilpatrick and John Thigpen — will vie for the office.
The election is a result of a protest filed by Kilpatrick just two days after the election in June 2013 when Burchfield received 18 more votes than Kilpatrick.
The court conducted an inspection of all election materials, including ballots and poll books, in the presence of parties, their attorneys, the city clerk and the circuit clerk.
There were a total of 55 affidavit ballots voted in the election; 12 of the voters were not registered to vote anywhere in the county; seven ballots were not registered to vote in Drew; five voters had been purged from the voter rolls; one person registered to vote on the day of the election; one ballot was not properly signed by the voter as required by law; one person voted in two precincts and five persons voted in the wrong precinct.
All affidavit ballots were counted in the final vote tally as certified by the election commissioners.
Special Circuit Judge Samac Richardson ruled in favor of Kilpatrick and has granted his request for a special election.
It was the opinion of the court that because of the multiple irregularities, election code violations and the number of illegal votes counted, the will of the voters is in question and is impossible to discern; therefore, a special election is required.