Hearing held for candidate - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Hearing held for candidate

October 10, 2005

Thomasville, Georgia-- Voting history and residency may put a speed bump in a Thomasville man's drive to become a city council member. If disqualified, Tyrone Terrell would be the second Thomasville City Council candidate removed from the ballot in less than a week.

Thomasville's election superintendent held a mandatory hearing for Terrell Monday morning. At issue is his voting history and residency. Terrell has a home in DeKalb County, but says his apartment in Thomasville is his primary residence. "Since February of '04," says Terrell.

But Terrell was a voter in Dekalb County until registering in Thomas County the day before qualifying last month. Here's the problem: State law requires a candidate be a registered voter where he is running for at least a year. Terrell signed documents swearing he met the voting and residency requirements, although he says he wasn't clear on them.

"I feel like the person who is employed by the city to qualify or disqualify a person that I should have been given that information," says Terrell. "State law does not require us to investigate the sworn statements unless evidence appears subsequent to signing that affidavit that there may not be something that is not correct," says city elections superintendent, Kathleen Vinson.

That investigation started when Vinson couldn't verify Terrell's information. Now, she's deciding whether to disqualify him. "I want to make sure I have left no stone unturned in making the correct decision. I'll make that decision as soon as possible," says Vinson.

If it's to disqualify, Terrell says he'll decide whether to try giving voters another chance next year. "I think they would be well served if I ran this time. So, surely I think in the future they'd be well served," he says. But they might get a chance to weigh in come elections next month.

Former Thomasville city council candidate, Jeremiah Horne, was disqualified last week. Residency requirements were also his downfall.

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