Residents react to Macomb alderman election controversy - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Residents react to Macomb alderman election controversy


Voters in Macomb's Second Ward are heading to the polls Tuesday for a second election to decide the ward's Alderman, even though their votes might not ever be counted.

A lawsuit challenging the decision from the election in February will continue on April 26, after Judge Rodney Clark decided Monday that he still needs to hear more evidence from the city of Macomb.

Clark says a final decision will have to be made as an alderman must be seated and sworn in by May 6.

"I have to give the city an opportunity to present additional information, and I'm going to give them that opportunity," said Judge Rodney Clark.

In the February primary, challenger Steve Wailand received one more vote than incumbent Kay Hill, with a final vote of 17-16. But, Wailand was never declared the winner.

The lawsuit filed against the city takes on the definition of "majority", as defined by election officials.

In a second hearing Monday at the McDonough County Courthouse, the city's interpretation of the word "majority" was openly brought into question after the City Clerk Melanie Falk admitted that nowhere in the city code book is majority defined as 50 percent of the vote, plus one vote.

An admission that attorneys for Wailand are hopeful will help their case.

"It's real easy and I think it's something that Steven has said all along, the code simply counter's that argument. The city of Macomb's municipal ordinance counters that argument," said Diane Cohen, General Counsel for Wailand.

This case has peaked the interest of many Macomb residents, who have their own definition of majority.

"Majority means if you have more, you win,"said Brittany Breden.

"More than 50% vote," said Mike Radosh.

"If I have say like 5 (votes) and you have 4, then I have more than you, so I would win," said Megan Brangenberg.

But despite being pushed back a second time, attorneys for Wailand are confident the outcome will be in their favor.

"Sometimes things take a little bit longer than one wishes. But we want it done right," said Cohen. 

If Wailand wins the lawsuit, he will be declared the winner from the February election and be seated as the second ward alderman in May. If the city wins the lawsuit, the results from Tuesday's election will then be unsealed and counted and a winner will be declared from those results.

Officials from the city of Macomb declined to comment on this story with WGEM News.

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