The reelection of Shirley Jenkins to Clinton City Council on March 5 has been certified (on Thursday) and upheld (on Friday), but it is not completely over.
Rosa M. Booker, who finished a distant second in a five-person race in Seat 2, protested two absentee ballots, by Jenkins’ son and daughter, that she alleged were cast by persons who no longer live in Clinton. Jenkins received 86 out of 150 votes cast, meaning that she would have had to lose 11 votes in order for her vote total. Booker was second with 29. Jenkins’ percentage, .571, enabled her to be reelected without facing a runoff.
When the Laurens County Board of Voter Registration and Elections examined the absentee ballots, challenges, provisionals and the like, Jenkins’ vote total actually increased by one.
Booker, though she only protested two ballots, alleged that there were broader irregularities and requested a State Law Enforcement Division investigation. Clinton police chief Sonny Ledda passed her request along in the form of a letter to SLED officials.
The proper next step in the process, should Booker choose to pursue it, is in the courts, according to the state law below:
SECTION 5-15-140.Contesting election results; appeal from decision of municipal election commission.
Within ten days after notice of the decision of the municipal election commission, any party aggrieved thereby may appeal from such decision to the court of common pleas. Notice of appeal shall be served on the opposing parties or their attorneys and filed in the office of the clerk of court within ten days. The notice of appeal shall act as a stay of further proceedings pending the appeal.