Pigeon Forge Liquor Vote Voided; New Election Planned

A judge has voided Pigeon Forge’s liquor-by-the-drink election and ordered a new vote.
From Jim Balloch’s report:
It all fermented down to this: In the controversial Nov. 6 referendum that approved liquor by the drink for Pigeon Forge, there was no fraud.
But a series of errors by poll workers that let nearly 300 ineligible people vote are enough to invalidate the election and require a new poll, Chancellor Telford Forgety ruled Thursday.
“It is clear that this election must be set aside,” Forgety said. “The results of the election are without question incurably uncertain.”
He added: “There is no evidence of any intentional fraud by anybody. No evidence whatsoever … (these were) good faith mistakes.”
Forgety ordered a new election held in 45 to 60 days, as state law requires when an election has been overturned.
With dozens of spectators on hand to see the proceedings, the case was moved from the small Chancery Court courtroom to the larger room where Sevier County Commission holds its public meetings.
The Sevier County Election Commission will schedule an emergency meeting for as soon as possible, within public notice requirements, for the purpose of scheduling a new election, said the commission’s lawyer Dennis Francis.
The meeting could be sometime next week, and the election itself will likely be held “sometime in the middle of March,” Francis said.

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