Editorial: Assistance for system is needed

Oct. 12, 2013 @ 11:31 PM

We noticed a very interesting explanation on the way to the ballot box for the Henderson City Council.

It came from Kevin Kilgore. He’s the chairman of the Vance County Board of Elections.

“In elections there has to be trust,” he said.

We’ll agree with that statement. He gave it prior to the election board voting judgment on a residency protest. The board itself was holding the trust of the voters.

We can’t blame the public if feeling betrayed, or that trust was misplaced.

The question of residency for Geraldine Champion was not proven in the election board’s Sept. 17 process. The correct verdict may have been rendered. We don’t know.

Champion may “legally” live at 508 Owen Street, at 325 Charles Street or even a different address that may or may not be on her driver’s license. We do know she’s been in front of the City Council to speak, and Charles Street is on record.

Kilgore was joined for the vote by Seneca Nicholson and Ginger Freeding. They were unanimous in their decision.

They believe they followed the rules as given to them, and abided by the state’s statutes.

If that is the case, the state’s election board has work to do. We believe the process of this decision was woefully flawed and deserves further examination before coming up again.

Kilgore explained probable cause had to be established to hold a hearing. The hearing never came. Champion and her opponent filing the protest, Garry Daeke, gave explanations — Daeke on why he filed the protest, Champion on where she lives.

No proof was required — just the word of the candidates. And on this occasion, Daeke said one thing, Champion said another, the board voted and the matter ended.

When candidates file, proof of residency is not required with the county elections director. They state their residence, check the map for the boundary area and pay the fee. Lying is a felony.

With this process, how can anyone be caught?

Trust goes beyond a candidate saying where they live. It includes the system, and this one needs assistance.