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Citing Fraud, Court Voids Mayoral Election in Ky.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (CN) - The Kentucky Supreme Court voided the results of the 2006 mayoral election in Tompkinsville, Ky., due to pervasive fraud.

Beverly McClendon had defeated Jerry Hodges by one vote. Hodges asked for a recount, which confirmed the result. Both sides then leveled fraud charges at each other.

The trial court found "pervasive" fraud with the walk-in absentee ballot process in District Four. Voters had provided incorrect addresses, cast absentee ballots despite being present on Election Day, and received help with ballot machines when they did not need help.

The trial court voided the election because of the fraud and the one-vote margin. The appeals court affirmed the fraud, but ruled that it was not pervasive enough to void the election.

Justice Cunningham disagreed.

"We cannot declare a winner by removing all walk-in absentee votes cast in District Four," Cunningham wrote. "Such a remedy would void many valid ballots and change the result of the entire election. For these reasons, the mayoral election for the City of Tompkinsville must be set aside."

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