HomeNewsCrime & CourtsAugusta judicial candidate won't get recount in election

Augusta judicial candidate won’t get recount in election

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A judicial candidate’s attempt to force a recount in her May 24 election has failed.

In an order signed July 14, Superior Court Chief Judge Daniel J. Craig granted the Richmond County Board of Elections’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by attorney Evita Paschall.

Paschall ran against attorney Ashanti Lilley Pounds in the race to replace retiring State Court Chief Judge David D. Watkins. Pounds won the election with 51.47 percent of the votes.

The Board of Elections certified the election on May 31. Paschall petitioned the Board of Elections for a recount, but the board denied her request on June 3.

In Georgia, a candidate is entitled to a recount if the difference between candidates’ vote split is .5 percent or less, and the request is made within two days of the certification.

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The difference between Pounds’ and Paschall’s votes was 2.93 percent.

Paschall contended in her petition to the Board of Elections and in her Richmond County Superior Court case that a number of votes hadn’t been counted because more voters cast ballots than voted in Paschall’s race against Pounds.

In granting the Board of Elections motion to dismiss Paschall’s lawsuit, the judge ruled that Paschall failed to follow the steps required to contest an election. For example, Paschall failed to name her opponent in the race, which is crucial, because the other candidate must be afforded the opportunity to take part in the proceedings, Craig wrote.

Pounds will replace Watkins on the state court bench after the first of the year. Watkins is retiring after 25 years on the bench. There are four judgeships for Richmond County State Court. Another judge, Patricia Booker, retired in March but the governor has not filled her seat on the bench yet.

Sandy Hodson is a staff reporter covering courts for The Augusta Press. Reach her at [email protected]. 

3 COMMENTS

  1. SO THIS IS A CLEAR EXAMPLE WHY STATE OF GA needs rules protecting citizen votes. Paschall contended “a number of votes hadn’t been counted because more voters cast ballots than voted…”

    • Not so much. Her contention is that because races higher up the ballot received more votes than in her race, that somehow she was deprived of votes. It’s fairly common for “down-ballot” races to have fewer votes than those at the top of the ballot. It’s called “ballot fatigue” or “falloff,” as voters hit the high-profile races and then skip lower-level races.

  2. Ms. Paschall’s deficient filing for a recount belies her lack of legal knowledge and attention to detail, attributes that are requisite for a judge, let alone an attorney. We dodged a bullet, thanks to Judge Craig.

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