Viewpoint: City commission election debacle

What a fiasco in the Ward Two Albany City Commission election!

A disqualified candidate's name left on the ballot, poor signage at polling places letting voters know she was no longer a candidate, and then election night confusion over whether the 259 votes cast for her should be counted.

And while the loser in the race, Melissa Strother, is taking legal action, Cheryl Calhoun is the real victim here.

Calhoun told elections officials she wanted to run in the Ward One race, but they insisted she lived in Ward Two.

So she paid her $450 qualifying fee and began campaigning for Ward two.

Just two weeks before election day, election workers told Calhoun that she lives in Ward One after all.

She was disqualified from the Ward Two race, and the qualifying period for the Ward One race was over.

The effect: She was shut out of running for political office through no fault of her own.

The city accepted responsibility and refunded her $450. But her name remained on the ballot and that led to voter confusion.

This whole political process was tainted and we believe the entire election should be thrown out and another election held.