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Marion candidate should have been listed with others on ballot

Florida is not the only place where an election would be contested. In Marion County, former Fairmont Mayor Gregory Hinton has been contesting his loss in the race for one of the county's two circuit court judgeships.

Hinton contends that the voters could not readily find his name on the ballot because it was illegally designed. Hinton had circulated petitions to have his name listed on the General Election ballot. In October, his name was placed on the ballot, but it was on the far right-hand side and several columns from the other candidates seeking the same office.

David Janes won the race by 6,163 votes and was certified by the Marion County Commission as the winner of the election. Marion County Circuit Clerk Barbara Core said the ballots' design followed state law.

County Commission President Cody Starcher said Janes will be sworn into office with other county officials on Dec. 29. Starcher also said he does not believe that Hinton's challenge will succeed.

We feel that Mr. Hinton's name should have been listed with the other candidates so that voters could easily find his name. Although the ballots' design may have followed state law, it does not seem fair to Mr. Hinton if his name was not listed with the other candidates where the voters could easily find it.

This year's election has revealed many problems that exist in the election process within the counties throughout our country. A study of the Nov. 7 election will be conducted by the National Association of Counties in order to make recommendations on how to improve election procedures.

We hope that the blue-ribbon panel that will be formed by the group will provide guidelines to the counties to help fine-tune the election process that our country has in place.

Steve Morris

Telegram Editorial Board member

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