Last year's election mess in the wake of Mayor James H. Rainwater's death is sufficient proof the City of Valdosta doesn't need to be taking on responsibility for elections.
We cannot think of any good reason why the city should be exploring the possibility of assuming the responsibility from the Lowndes County Board of Elections.
The city qualifies its own candidates for city offices through Finance Director Mark Barber, but the county board conducts the elections.
Last fall, the city went to court because it did not want to accept the county board's decision that Rainwater could not be on the ballot after he died. The city lost its lawsuit, and cost the city, the county and the candidates thousands of dollars in legal fees.
Obviously, the situation caused some bad blood between the county and some city leaders, but it was obvious to most residents (and voters) that the city was trying to manipulate the outcome of the mayoral election.
Now come some alleged concerns over the county board's work, but it turns out that Barber, the city official, did not remind city elected officials that ethics forms (campaign contribution forms and financial disclosures) were due, which caused them to violate state ethics rules, according to Deb Cox, supervisor of elections for Lowndes County. Although everyone can make mistakes, why should the city take on an extra burden in this area when the county already does a good job?
In addition, the city could face additional costs for taxpayers.
John Adams, chairman of the county elections board, said there would be no advantages for the city to run its own election. We totally agree.
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