No word on whether to put Smith on ballot

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 14, 2003

WOODVILLE &045; As of Friday evening, Wilkinson County Circuit Clerk Mon Allen still awaited word from the state Supreme Court on whether to include incumbent Supervisor Kirk Smith’s name on the ballot for the Nov. 4 general election.

After considering a petition filed by challenger Richard Hollins on Thursday morning, the Wilkinson County Democratic Executive Committee recertified Smith as the winner of its Aug. 26 primary election by an 11-vote margin.

However, Hollins asked the high court on Thursday afternoon to bar Wilkinson County election commissioners from printing Smith’s name on the general election ballot as the Democratic nominee.

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Claiming that absentee and affidavit ballots were improperly rejected at the polls&045;among other alleged irregularities&045;Hollins also appealed the committee’s ruling to the Wilkinson County Circuit Court.

Allen said he notified the state Supreme Court of Hollins’ circuit court filing on Thursday afternoon.

The state Supreme Court must appoint a judge from outside the circuit court district to hear any contested election case.

Absentee ballots will be printed as soon as the high court issues its ruling on whether to include Smith’s name on the general election ballot, Allen said.

That ruling may come today or Monday, Allen said.

&uot;We’ve only received three or four requests for absentee ballots, county-wide,&uot; Allen said.

Meanwhile, Allen assured voters that all other races in all districts will proceed as scheduled in the Nov. 4 general election.

&uot;Only the Second District Supervisor’s race might be omitted&045;depending on the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Everything else is set to go,&uot; Allen said.

Allen also sought to squash rumors that former independent

candidate John Carr &045; who last month withdrew from the District 5 supervisor race &045; remained on the ballot for the general election.

&uot;We removed his name from the ballot on September 25&045;the same day that he turned in his letter (of withdrawal),&uot; Allen said.

Allen produced a copy of a proposed ballot for District 5 that listed incumbent Supervisor W. G. Johnson and independent Curtis McFarland as the only candidates in the race.

&uot;We’re doing everything we can to assure that everyone is treated fairly,&uot; Allen said.