Elaine Brown Bumped from Ballot!

Terrible news for Greens hoping to see an upset in Georgia this November. Promising Brunswick mayoral candidate Elaine Brown was removed from the ballot by the Glynn County Elections Board. This move comes because of concerns over her residency status. In order to seek the office, Brown must have resided in Brunswick for at least one year prior to election day.

Brown says she had, others claim she hadn’t… and the elections board ruled against her and removed her name. A major blow to the Green Party, both in Georgia and at the national level.

The Brunswick News reports…

The Glynn County Board of Elections has decided that Brunswick mayoral candidate Elaine Brown cannot participate in the upcoming municipal election - as either a candidate or a voter.

The elections board voted unanimously Friday to disqualify Brown as a candidate for mayor and remove her from the voter rolls after a week of considering whether or not she has lived in the city long enough to be a candidate.

That now leaves Bryan Thompson and Otis Herrington as the only mayoral candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot. Resident Betsy Bean, who’s application to run for mayor was disqualified, plans to run as a write-in candidate. It is too late for Brown to declare as a write-in.

Two city residents - Howard Buie and Alice Norman - filed a challenge with the board of elections claiming that Brown has not lived in the city for one year prior to the Nov. 8 election, as required for all mayoral candidates.

Their attorney, John Dow, presented evidence the elections board felt proved Brown lived in Atlanta in November 2004, and that she moved to Brunswick in December.

“I made every intent to honor Ms. Brown’s intent (to live in Brunswick), but intention cannot overcome actions,” Jack Conyers, elections board member, said at the Friday meeting.

Board members said their decision was based on a feeling that, for the purpose of elections, residence is best defined as a place of domicile. They agreed with Brown’s assertion that an individual can have more than one residence - as she contended she did - but felt she did not sufficiently prove she moved to Brunswick in November rather than December.

Brown was visibly upset by the decision, and still claims her residence in Brunswick was sufficiently proven by her voter registration - dated Nov. 5, 2004. Brown cited a Georgia Supreme Court ruling which she said proves that the only residency requirement for the purpose of seeking local office is that a person be a registered voter in the election in which he or she seeks to participate.

“(The challengers) lied and the record is clear,” she said.

Though she has been removed from the ballot, Brown said her campaign will not end. She said she plans to challenge the decision in Glynn County Superior Court.

“I think I am the people’s mayor as of now,” she said as a group of supporters applauded.

Previously, Brown, a former national figure in the Black Panther party, ran a high-energy campaign, calling attention to what she felt was the disenfranchisement of the city’s poorest citizens. She challenged Thompson on his position with the non-profit development agency Blueprint Brunswick and was backed by the Rev. Al Sharpton, a national civil rights and media figure, at a campaign appearance in August.

But Buie and Norman succeeded in convincing the elections board to dismiss Brown’s candidacy by presenting her lease for her apartment, the fact that she still has an Atlanta area code on her cell phone and that she voted in DeKalb County in November 2004.

Brown called the challengers’ evidence circumstantial and testified that she maintained residences in both Atlanta and Brunswick, a practice she said continues today.

The board of elections action Friday settles a municipal ballot that had been in flux.

Thompson survived a challenge to his candidacy earlier when the elections board rejected a challege filed by Bean. She had sought to have him removed from the ballot by claiming that his employment by a non-profit development agency with ties to the city would pose a conflict of interest should he be elected.

11 Responses to “Elaine Brown Bumped from Ballot!”

  1. IndiPol Says:

    From what I gather in the newspaper article it sounds like Brown has excellent grounds for this getting overturned based on her voter registration. That should take out the subjectivity of “intentions”.

  2. Third Party Watch » Blog Archive » The New Green Star? Says:

    [...] If you’d asked me two weeks ago which race looked most promising for the Green Party this year, I’d have said Elaine Brown in Georgia. However, now that she’s been kicked off the ballot, I think it’s safe to say that Gloria Mattera’s run for Brooklyn Borough President is worthy of this distinction. [...]

  3. Proud Black Voter in Brunswick Says:

    Elaine Brown had 10 days to file an appeal in the courts after she was removed from the ballot on Oct 14. At last check Elaine Brown continues to say she will fight this in court but 13 days after the decision, long past the 10 day limit, the courts have said she has yet to file any legal challenge in the courts. Elaine Brown talks a good game until you sit back and look at the facts and see for yourself what is truth and what is talk. With the electons less than 2 weeks away, this story continues.

  4. The Tall One Says:

    A hearing took place Oct 27. Word is that Elaine might win one and lose the other. The Judge may put her back on the voter roll at her new address that she registered at a few months ago while upholding the election board ruling that she did not meet the legal 12 month requirements to run for Mayor. The Judge will announce his decision Oct 31 and appeals are expected.

  5. The Tall One Says:

    The State Judge has spoken and upheld the ruling of the Election Board. Elaine Brown WILL NOT be on the ballot. Elaine Brown can still appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court and then to the US Supreme Court if she continues to lose her case. The election will take place next week.

  6. Third Party Watch » Blog Archive » Brown Loses Brunswick Lawsuit Says:

    [...] For more on the Brown situation, click here. [...]

  7. Cathy Browning Says:

    Faced with the prospect of a progressive black woman becoming mayor was way too much for those that want to tear this city apart and repeat the historical nation-wide dispossession of those living at or below the poverty level.

    70% of the residents are black and do not want to suffer the consequences of redevelopment and gentrification because these plans certainly don’t include THEM.

    Please note that out of 16,000 residents, only approximately 7,500 are REGISTERED VOTERS, and 1,936 actually voted.

    The Glynn County Board of Elections disqualified her as a candidate and voter on October 14th. This was done with no evidence and was in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the U.S. Constitution, and the Official Code of Georgia.

    The decision came after 5 p.m. and without taking a vote of the Board, it was decided they would remove Brown from the ballot. They had the ballots reprinted over the weekend in time to send out the Absentee Ballot on Oct. 18.

    The opposition, including power brokers and developers from Sea Island and beyond continued with their “plan to get Brown off the ballot” when Senior Superior Court Judge Pope upheld the Board’s decision.

    Without a name on the ballot and newspaper coverage that votes for her would not count, voters were disenfranchised.

    One day before the election, Brown filed a petition in federal court. Judge Alaimo ruled that the Board had to preserve a record of her write-ins pending a trial on the merits of her case.

    The Board of Elections was not expecting this and voiced their opinions in print.

    On Election Day, Brown’s name was not on the list of write-ins.

    Poll Watchers have already reported misconduct at every city precinct and the election will probably be contested based on this, while Brown pursues her case in the courts.

    When the law is selectively used by local election boards, judges, state election divisions, and any others—-you have the right to seek justice in all courts, including the federal Supreme Court.

    So, if any are dismayed that Brown is exercising her rights and continuing her case in the courts, then I suggest you think again.

    None of us should be content with this “managed democracy.”

  8. Catherine Browning Says:

    Friends of Elaine Brown for Mayor of Brunswick, Georgia
    139 Altama Connector, #107
    Brunswick, Georgia 31525
    912-262-9811 (Telephone) · 912-262-9813 (Facsimile)

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASENovember 17, 2005
    CONTACT: Cathy Browning, 912-996-6523

    (Brunswick, Georgia)

    MAYORAL ELECTION TO BE CONTESTED

    Former candidate for mayor Elaine Brown has filed a Petition in Glynn County Superior Court contesting the result of the mayoral election of November 8, 2005. The Affidavits of poll watchers and monitors attest to misconduct, fraud and irregularity in the conduct of the election and place the results in doubt.
    Brown states that despite the Order by U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Alaimo, the Glynn County Board of Elections did not “preserve and tally” her write-in votes. Brown also charges that her name was illegally removed from the ballot. She has notified the two other mayoral candidates, Betsy Bean and Otis Herrington, of her contest of the election.

    Bryan Thompson Ineligible to Hold Office

    Relatedly, Brunswick activist Zack Lyde filed an additional contest on the same grounds as Brown.
    Brown also contests the election on the grounds that Bryan Thompson is not eligible to hold office because he is CEO of Blueprint Brunswick, Inc., which receives City funding. Under the legal doctrine of “incompatible offices,” it is illegal for a person to be an official of a government that funds his own company.

    1. # # # #
  9. Friends of Brunswick Says:

    Friends of Brunswick
    PO Box 1776
    Brunswick, GA 31521

    December 10, 2005

    Elaine Brown being Counter-Sued

    Elaine Brown, the former and only female leader of the Black Panther Party, wanted to be Mayor of Brunswick, Georgia. Before the election a challenge was filed to the candidacy of Elaine Brown. A hearing was held and evidence presented established that Elaine Brown DID NOT meet the legal requirements to run for Mayor.

    Elaine Brown has since filed appeal after appeal and filed other lawsuits challenging the Nov 8 Election results citing many violations and other reasons she cites in her lawsuits.

    Now, the first COUNTER-SUIT has been filed against Elaine Brown seeking damages and legal fees.

    This is a copy of the news report from The Brunswick News, Friday, December 9, 2005 on Page 2-A

    Mayoral election back in court
    The Brunswick News
    Brunswick, Georgia

    The two Brunswick residents who successfully petitioned to get Elaine brown off the mayoral ballot in the Nov 8 city election are now counter-suing her.

    Brown has challenged the Glynn County Board of Elections ruling that removed her from the ballot in both Superior Court and U.S. District Court.

    In their lawsuit filed Wednesday, Howard Buie and Alice Norman seek restitution of their legal fees for defending themselves during Brown’s hearings.

    A hearing on Brown’s lawsuit contesting the results of last month’s election and a request for a new election will be held Dec 19 in Glynn County Superior Court.

    A hearing date has not been set for the counter-suit.

  10. Tyronne Leslie Says:

    UPDATE on the election contest filed by Elaine Brown.

    The case was set for Dec 1 and Elaine Brown won her motion for a continuance until Dec 19. Now that Dec 19 is next week, the word around Brunswick is that Elaine Brown and Zack Lyde decided at the last minute to drop their contests of election lawsuit. Yes they both filed a lawsuit.

    The truth of the matter won out. Elaine Brown was not a legal resident of Brunswick for at least 12 months and could not run for office. Otherwise she would of continued to fight this case if she felt in her heart that she was within the law.

    Is the matter done? Only Elaine Brown and her friends know.

    A counter suit against Elaine Brown is still pending.

  11. The Sure One Says:

    The attack on the good people of Brunswick seems to be failing. Just ask yourself, why would anyone want to move to Brunswick just to run for Mayor? Give me a break! And give the voters of Brunswick a little credit for voter awareness. After it is over where is everyone? I don’t think she (E.B.) would have been elected even if she had only one opponent of any stature.

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