Putnam County candidate for sheriff, Jonathan Kinney, filed a lawsuit after the November 2016 General Election; challenging the final results of his race by alleging that 42 ballots counted by the Supervisor of Elections should be thrown out.
Circuit Court Judge Gary Wilkinson disagreed Friday as he handed down a 21-page judgment confirming the election of Putnam County Sheriff Homer “Gator” Deloach. In summary, Wilkinson ruled that Kinney did not meet his burden to show that the challenged ballots were, in fact, “illegal ballots” and that any “illegal ballots” would not have been sufficient to place the outcome of the election in question.
Attorneys for Kinney argued the ballots should have been thrown out because some of them were cast by felons and others were cast by non-residents. One person who voted by mail died before the election.
On election night, Kinney had a narrow 18 vote lead out of more than 32,000 ballots cast. However, after more than 400 votes via mail and other outstanding ballots were counted, Deloach was certified the winner by 16 votes. And, after yesterday’s decision, Deloach will stay in office.