Holmes County Is Still Dealing With its 2000 Election Problems

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Holmes County voters will go to the polls at the end of this month to elect a sheriff, but the 2000 sheriff's race in the Bonifay area may still end up costing them money.

Lawyer John Braxton was back in court this week, asking the judge for legal fees.

Braxton sued Holmes County over the 2000 election results. He lost to incumbent Dennis Lee by five votes, but Supervisor of Elections Debbie Wilcox-Morris disqualified 20 of the absentee ballots.

This February an appeals court ruled the Holmes County sheriff’s election was still undecided, even though Lee has almost completed the disputed four-year term.

Despite the ongoing legal battle, Ms. Wilcox-Morris says she's focusing on the upcoming 2004 election.

"The court ruled early on that the canvassing board had not done anything wrong. It was appealed to the District Court; we're now going back to the circuit court. I'm not sure when we're going to court on that, but we will proceed with the 2004 elections just as we are required to do by law."

Braxton's attorneys are asking for approximately $45,000 in legal fees. The judge told both parties he'd hold another hearing in early September to handle the fees and the disputed vote.