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posted: 1/8/2017 12:01 AM

Ballot challenges are legalistic pettiness

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I am dismayed at the number of cases being reported, challenging the validity of nominating petitions submitted by local residents wishing to have their names placed on the ballot for local offices.

Charges have included everything from unnumbered pages, overlooking the enclosure of a receipt, initially omitting an economic interest statement, leaving some lines blank, and the use of paper clips!

What is happening in our communities? These charges are both not egregious and easily rectified, and illustrate a legalistic pettiness raised by neighbors who may possibly dislike the individual, or for whatever reason, may not want them running for office.

To engage in such trivial conduct invites discord among fellow residents, destroys friendships, creates unnecessary turmoil, expense and legal fees.

I often hear complaints that few people demonstrate a willingness to serve their local communities; not enough people get involved. Putting individuals to task for submitting "imperfect" paperwork is destructive and discourages people from running for office. Those who do get involved should receive some level of encouragement and support, instead of be impugned over of trivial issues.

Apparently, the days are gone when minor infractions were either overlooked or easily remedied, and neighbors were simply grateful that someone among them was willing to become -- or remain -- active in serving their community.

What truly matters is not whose name is printed on the ballot; it is ultimately the decision made by the electorate as to who becomes the victor.

Thank you to everyone who has demonstrated the motivation, shared their time, and made the effort to participate in public service.

Karel Follman-Jones

Former village president

Pingree Grove

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