Lawsuit filed over Pigeon Forge liquor vote

Voters in Pigeon Forge approve liquor by the drink referendum. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A group calling themselves the Concerned Churches & Citizens of Pigeon Forge have filed a lawsuit against the Sevier County Election Commission over votes certified in a referendum for liquor by the drink in Pigeon Forge.

The suit lists a number of issues in the election, including fewer votes certified than those who actually signed in to vote. The suit also says that people voted in the Pigeon Forge referendum who shouldn't have been allowed too.

"The rule that only 2 people can vote on a property, while there were 5 and 4 people voting on one piece of property," said Charles Rhodes, who researched election documents and found the issues.

In all, Rhodes says he found a total of 2,061 people who voted according to election certifications. However, voter logs show 2,364 people signed in to vote.

"When you get over 303 inaccurate votes in your count, that's very inaccurate," said Rhodes.

Rhodes says he's not just protesting liquor, but the integrity of all elections in Sevier County. He says the vote should be thrown out and the process started all over, after election officials figure out what lead to the issues.

"This is bigger than just pigeon forge. but it's all of our duty in Sevier County to make sure that all of our voting process is being handled in proper fashion and that those votes are true votes," said Rhodes.

The suit was filed November 21 in Sevier County Chancery Court. Court officials say the last person to pick up a copy of the suit did so on Monday, November 26.

The group is asking that the court review this lawsuit within the next 10 to 50 days.