Constitution Party candidates on Nov. ballot

Published 10:09am Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Two offices that would otherwise be uncontested will instead be on the Nov. 4 General Election ballot.

The posts of Elmore County Sheriff and Elmore County Coroner will be up for grabs after the Constitution Party’s petition was determined to meet the necessary requirements of law.

Monday Elmore County Probate Judge John Enslen officially declared the Constitution Party of Alabama has complied with Alabama law, providing enough petition signatures to allow candidates to be included on the ballot.

For sheriff, Mark Syck will oppose Sheriff Bill Franklin, the Republican incumbent  who was unopposed in the primary.

For coroner, Lamar Neighbors will oppose Brad Linville, who won the Republican Primary by a 65 to 35 percent margin over Errol Law. There were no Democratic Party qualifiers for either race.

Enslen said 785 signatures of registered voters in Elmore County were required for the party to obtain ballot access.

“That number by law is 3 percent of the number of voters casting a vote in Elmore County in the last gubernatorial general election,” he explained. “The Constitution Party provided a total of approximately 1,200 signatures for approval, but about a third of them could not be identified as legally registered voters in Elmore County.

“It was the approximately 120 additional signatures submitted on Election Day prior to the 5 p.m. deadline that moved the party over the finish line. Without the extra 120 or so signatures, the two candidates would not have qualified. The third political party ended up with only 29 valid signatures to spare.”

The submitted signatures were verified by a team of seven workers, including the probate judge himself, who all worked at night so daily operations of the probate office would not be interrupted or adversely affected. Three of the team members were law students from Jones Law School who are working as interns for the probate office this summer.

“I am grateful for those who assisted with this laborious, detailed, intensive work of vetting each and every individual signature on the petition,” Enslen said. “We wanted to make sure that we could explain to any citizen who asked why any particular signature was either approved or disapproved according to the legal standards under which we operated, and we believe we can do that if it becomes necessary. This project could not have been accomplished without the late night work of Chief Clerk Brent Helms, Election Specialist Vicki Stewart and our interns.”

According to the Secretary of State, the Constitution Party of Alabama has also gained access to the November ballot in some other Alabama counties.

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