Roberts drops challenge of Metro Council election results

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 12:51pm

Mary Carolyn Roberts, who in a lawsuit claimed out-of-district prisoners voted improperly among other allegations, announced Wednesday she has decided to drop her challenge in the Metro Council’s District 20 race.

Roberts, a candidate who narrowly lost to incumbent Councilman Buddy Baker by a 696-650 vote margin in the Aug. 4 Metro general election, cited financial considerations.

“Everything comes down to money sometimes,” Roberts said. “I hate it, but it’s expensive. I just can’t hang on anymore.”

Roberts said she called Baker to congratulate him.

In a written statement, Baker’s attorney Stephen Zralek said her decision to drop the suit proved what he and his client believed all along.

“Ms. Roberts’ decision to drop her election contest confirms our belief that her lawsuit had no merit,” Zralek said. “Councilman Baker has already begun his second term, and he looks forward to serving his constituents."  

In her suit against the Davidson County Election Commission, Roberts alleged out-of-district prisoners who voted in District 20 shouldn’t have been able to do so. The prisoners originally registered in District 20, but are serving time in Hickman County.

She also said some former District 20 residents who moved out of the district, voted in the District 20 election nonetheless.

Despite pulling the chord on her suit, Roberts told The City Paper she still believes it was sound.

Moving forward, Roberts didn’t rule out running for the same West Nashville council seat in 2015.

“Quite possibly, that would be something I would pursue,” Roberts said.  

6 Comments on this post:

By: whitetrash on 9/21/11 at 2:51

Does Roberts have a job? One might want to make sure they have the funds to pay legal expenses before they file a lawsuit in shark infested waters. Got Common Sense?

By: sidneyames on 9/22/11 at 6:01

Sometimes people don't think things through before they file a lawsuit based on their emotions! Common sense does help!

By: nash615 on 9/22/11 at 6:46

From what I can tell, the motivation behind filing the lawsuit was simply: "We are 9 votes away from a runoff; there were numerous complaints, including film footage, of voter intimidation at the polls; and there are more than enough cases of prisoners voting, people living out of district 20 voting, and people voting from industrial addresses that the case is strong."

If I were to ask any of you members of the "Common Sense" brain trust, "What should the budget be for a legal challenge on a case with really strong facts where it's clear that the 'winner' promoted illegal intimidation and voting activities?" what dollar figure would you come up with?

It's a shame for District 20 that Roberts didn't have the financial acumen to consult with "whitetrash" and "sidneyames" first before launching her legal case.

By: rbull on 9/22/11 at 11:59

Please tell me how people in prision in another County could come and vote in this election. Seems like the people at the desk registering people prior to voting didn't ask for proper identification and might be the ones to blame for allowing these people to vote in the first place.

By: whitetrash on 9/22/11 at 12:00

Roberts should get Jamie Hollin to represent her pro bono.

By: tennesseeshadow on 9/26/11 at 11:40

@rbull they voted absentee. If they were in prison, how do you contend they voted in person?