Local News

Special Election May Lead To Confusing Ballots In Warren County

Posted June 15, 2004

— A special election to chose Frank Ballance's successor to Congress may create some confusion for Warren County voters. The special election that is scheduled for July 20 will mean some of the candidates for the 1st District Congressional seat will be on the ballot twice.

Election officials worry that the confusion could cause some voters not to complete their ballot, leading to what is called under voting -- a problem in recent years in small, rural counties. It is a job that the major political parties must address.

"We want to make sure our voters going to the polls know exactly what's happening, so there will be no confusion and we have the same kind of turnout on the bottom of the ticket as we do at the top," said Mike Wilburt, of the Warren County Republican Party.

Mary Sommerville, who is Warren County's Election Chairwoman and the interim elections director, said she is running out of time to complete the update of voter registration rolls.

"I took the oath of office back in July that we will be ready and they say, 'By God, we will be ready,'" she said.

Ballance resigned last week for health reasons. While voting on state and local offices, Warren County voters will also decide on whether to allow mixed drinks in the county.

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