Memphis School Board Member Kenneth Whalum, Junior has been an outspoken member of the Memphis City School Board, “I cannot be bought, speak my mind and question things that need to be questioned.” When a new Shelby County School Board takes over in 2013, Whalum won’t be on it. In a nail biter, Whalum lost to Kevin Woods, 6,423 votes to 6,531. That’s a loss by a mere 108 votes. “I have never seen such an infusion of hundreds of thousands of dollars from outside Memphis in a local school board race. It was a miracle I was able to get 50 percent of the vote,” says Whalum.
What may be even more shocking to some, is there is no automatic recount in a race this close.
Tennessee Elections Coordinator Mark Goins told us the losing candidate must start the process, “The person wanting a recount would have to file a contest claim. Then the court would have to agree that a recount is warranted. Just because I lose by 108 votes, that’s not enough to get a recount. They are gonna have to show some valid reason why a recount is warranted.”
Tennessee’s law states valid reasons are a tie vote, an indication of fraud where there is enough difference to change the election results, malfunction of a voting machine, or if a court or body with jurisdiction finds a recount warranted. In essence, Whalum would have to find a court to support him.