Today the Johnson County Election Board (JCEB) decided to correct the ballot for the Greenwood municipal election in order to make it compliant with state law. The Libertarian Party of Johnson County (LPJC) is satisfied with the outcome of the hearing. At issue was the placement of Libertarian mayoral candidate Jeff Spoonamore’s name relative to the Libertarian party’s actual and legally mandated position upon the ballot. The Independent candidate was incorrectly placed second on the ballot.
LPJC Vice-Chair Erwin Salazar presented an excellent oral argument that the faulty ballots may cause voter confusion. Cited were a number of prominent legal academics upon the consistent placement of candidates in relation to the presentation of affiliated political parties.
Ultimately the voter confusion argument was not acted upon. Written objections were filed by voters who are not members of the Libertarian Party. As required by state law in response to such a written objection, the JCEB ordered the ballots reprinted.
LPJC Chair Frank Rossa said, “It is unfortunate the taxpayers of Johnson County will have to foot the bill for this mistake. Had the LPJC initially been provided a copy of the ballot this may have been avoided. The cost of the ballot correction is less than one quarter of what the City of Greenwood spent to study the construction of a swimming pool. I believe the value of a fair and lawful election exceeds one quarter of a swimming pool study.”
It is interesting to note that the board admitted under questioning by ballot objector Jason Sharp that the replacement ballot had already been ordered, and that it would be available for public testing and review shortly after the conclusion of the hearing. Thus, the taxpayers were already on the hook no matter the outcome of the hearing.