Election board gets it right

Published 11:57 am Tuesday, August 25, 2009

While it may not have been the actual dotting of “I’s” or the crossing of “T’s” that trimmed the 2009 general election ballot, that sort of attention to detail on signatures was the key cause.

Eight candidates saw their chances at gaining or retaining public office dashed before they ever really got started. The Lawrence County Board of Elections voided these petitions for a variety of reasons including invalid signatures, questions about the veracity of names, photocopying petitions, incomplete circulator statements and other violations, most of which were likely inadvertent.

These may sound like relatively minor infractions that should have been overlooked. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Email newsletter signup

The elections board absolutely did the right thing — regardless of political party, specific race or who someone is or who he or she knows.

Rules are vital in anything in life and perhaps never more so than in politics. Ensuring that each and every petition is legitimate is just the first step toward establishing the integrity of the elections system in Lawrence County.

Now critics will say that elections have been altered here for years by all variety of political tactics. But none of that means anything here. We don’t know what may or may not have happened over the years but, as the cliche goes, “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

And before anyone tries to blame the board of elections, it is up to those seeking office to learn the rules and follow them. The board employees are there to help but aren’t responsible for pre-checking candidates’ petitions for accuracy.

Lawrence County voters need the best candidates running and that starts with ensuring everyone played by same set of rules.