The Stevenson mayoral election is being contested in court. Mike Cloud filed a legal complaint after losing to incumbent Rickey Steele 424-301 on Aug. 25.

Cloud is raising questions over absentee ballots cast. In court documents, Cloud claims he received 246 votes to Steele’s 147 votes cast at the polls. Cloud said he received 55 absentee votes, while Steele received 277 absentee votes.

Cloud contends that unqualified and ineligible voters voted in the election.

“Those persons disqualified to vote were persons not registered to vote; persons convicted of felonies and crimes of moral turpitude; persons not residents of the city and persons whose ballots were illegal because of insufficient witnesses,” the complaint says.

Cloud also contends that Steele, or his agents, fraudulently induced persons to vote for Steele and absentee ballots were also illegally obtained, harvested and counted.

Cloud filed the complaint in Jackson County Circuit Court. However, both Judge John Graham and Judge Jenifer Holt recused themselves from the case.

In a court order, Graham said he is “an elector in the city of Stevenson, knows both parties well, was solicited by both parties for this vote, and therefore, recuses from sitting as judge in this case.”

Holt, in a separate order, said in order to avoid the appearance of impropriety, she recuses “from any participation in the above styled case and requests that an out-of-circuit judge be assigned.”

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