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Panel to try ending ballot suit

The city's Canvassing Board will meet today to hammer out the terms of a compromise and end a lawsuit that has lingered since the mayoral election last year. The Canvassing Board, along with lawyer John Elias, has been working to settle a lawsuit by resident Michael A. Mone.

Mone sued the board after it ignored his absentee ballot, saying the ballot was not properly notarized. Although Mone will not say for whom he voted in the mayor's race in the February 1989 election, his ballot could have broken a 334-vote tie between John Blank and William Atteberry. Blank won the election when his name was pulled from a coffee cup.

The election and ensuing lawsuit touched off a year of controversy. Blank, City Council member Robert Crockett and Vice Mayor Audrey Greenberg resigned because of the conflict. Atteberry was appointed mayor in December. His term will expire in February.

City Clerk Mary Gray Black, a member of the three-person Canvassing Board, hopes the compromise settlement she wrote will end the matter.

Under Black's proposal, both sides would agree to several conditions:

The instructions for completing an absentee ballot were inadequate.

The Canvassing Board was correct in invalidating the ballot.

The Canvassing Board recommends that all absentee electors be notified of essential requirements for completing a ballot.

The Canvassing Board would open and read the ballot, and recommend that it have no effect on the Feb. 14, 1989, election or council action that has been taken since.

The board is to meet at 11 a.m. today at City Hall, 444 Causeway Blvd.

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