Brandon Dean removed as mayor of Brighton; court rules absentee ballots were illegal

BRIGHTON, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE: The Brighton City Council voted Monday night to appoint councilwoman Rhonda Bean to be interim mayor. They’ll meet again Tuesday night to finalize that vote, and work on plans for a runoff election.

The top two vote-getters in last year’s mayoral race were Brandon Dean and Eddie Cooper.

Brandon Dean has been removed as the mayor of Brighton after a court found that some absentee ballots submitted were illegal.

After discounting those ballots from the election, the court found that Dean did not have enough legal ballots to win the election without a runoff.

In a lawsuit filed by Eddie Cooper who ran against Dean for mayor in the 2016 election, Cooper alleged that Dean was not a resident of Brighton for the 90-day period prior to the election date. The lawsuit also alleged that illegal absentee ballots were cast during the election and that discounting the illegal ballots would result in Dean not receiving the majority of votes.

The court found that Dean did meet the residential requirements to become mayor. However, the court declared 46 absentee votes as illegal. Those votes were deducted from Dean’s total, dropping it from 376 to 330. With the new calculation, Dean was six votes away from avoiding a runoff.

A run-off election between Dean and Cooper will take place.

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