Judge should call a special election

It has been almost two months since Hattiesburg residents headed to the polls to cast their ballots for mayor — and there remains the possibility that they just might be heading back to their voting precincts.

After a mistrial was declared Tuesday in Dave Ware’s challenge of the June 4 mayoral election results, Ware’s legal team asked Judge William Coleman to order a special election in which Ware and incumbent Mayor Johnny DuPree would be the only candidates.

DuPree topped Ware by 37 votes in the general election, on his way to a fourth term in office.

But after listening to a week’s worth of testimony — from both sides, too many questions remain about too many things.

Why were so many of the absentee ballots not up to legal muster? Was a jail inmate really told he would be released if he cast his vote for DuPree? And what about the jury’s original 9-3 verdict in Ware’s favor — written on a piece of paper and given to the judge? How did we go so quickly from that to an 8-4 split that left Ware v. DuPree declared a mistrial?

Hattiesburg American
7/31/13