Members of the Birmingham City Council thought they elected Councilman Darrell O’Quinn as the new city council president on Tuesday. According to reports, they might have to hold the vote again.
During its regular Tuesday council meeting, the nine-member body elected O’Quinn with only four votes. Before Councilwoman Carol Clarke nominated O’Quinn, incumbent Wardine Alexander and Clinton Woods were tied, each with four votes, Clarke abstaining.
Since O’Quinn was one of three candidates and received votes from Hunter Williams, Valerie Abbott, Clarke and himself, he was named the new president. The council then elected Alexander as Pro Tem to replace Councilwoman Crystal Smitherman.
According to Barnett Wright of the Birmingham Times, officials were told on Wednesday morning that O’Quinn did not receive enough votes to become president, citing an “error in mathematical computation,” and that the council will have to cast another vote next Tuesday, the winner required to obtain a five-vote majority regardless of how many candidates are in the race.
BREAKING--#Birmingham officials being told Councilor Darrell O'Quinn did NOT have enough votes to become @citycouncilbham president on Tues. "due to an error in mathematical computation." (1/2) #alpolitics— Barnett Wright (@BarnettWright) October 25, 2023
A report from AL.com also said the city clerk and city attorney declared the vote invalid, citing a memo from City Clerk Lee Frazier from Wednesday morning.
AL.com is a subsidiary of Advance Publications, owned by New York billionaire Donald Newhouse.
1819 News called Frazier’s office on Wednesday morning to confirm the report. An employee from his office said that Frazier had not been in the office all day and that she was unaware of such a memo or a challenge to the vote.
1819 News also contacted Birmingham City Council Public Information Officer Kimberly Garner, who redirected us to the office of City Attorney Nicole King. An employee in King’s office then claimed we must contact Garner to obtain information about the status of the vote. We reached out to Garner again, and she did not respond.
Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.