Election Results In Protest

Sunday, April 8th 2007, 2:00 pm
By: News On 6

COLBERT, Okla. (AP) The loser in the race for a seat on the Colbert city council has challenged the result, claiming that people who lived outside the small Bryan County town voted in the election.

Uncertified election returns showed Michelle Weger beat Malcolm Gage by a 103-91 count for the open seat. Weger had been appointed to the council after a longtime member resigned in December.

Gage, in papers filed with the county election board, said that at last 12 people who lived outside Colbert cast ballots in the election. Gage said that because of that, it is impossible to determine who really won.

Election Board Secretary Linda Fahrendorf, using an Oklahoma Tax Commission map, said that it appeared that some of the voters did not live within the Colbert city limits. In the past, there have been discrepancies between the state Tax Commission's maps and the town's maps about what territory is within city limits.

She said the election board must use the Tax Commission's maps.

A court hearing is set for 1 p.m. Thursday before Bryan County District Judge Mark Campbell. If the election result is thrown out, another election would have to be held.

Colbert's city government has experienced much tumult in recent months. The council fired Police Chief John Polston in December, but he was reinstated in January by a review board made up of council members.

Polston was fired again in March, days after a Colbert officer arrested council member Maurice Robinson for driving with a suspended license.