News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Morgan County Republican Party won in vote count

Morgan County Commissioner Richard Lyons may not feel much like a winner today, but his political party is one after the way officials handled the run-off election, which he lost by two votes.

Mr. Lyons was justifiably disappointed that provisional ballots counted Tuesday, a week after the runoff, failed to break the 4,020 vote tie in his favor.

Republican Party officials, Probate Judge Bobby Day, Sheriff Greg Bartlett, Circuit Clerk John Pat Orr and voter registrars needed the public's confidence in wading through the prescribed steps to settling the tie. They have it. Even though an election official mistakenly sealed the voter list with provisional ballots — those whose validity was challenged — retrieving the necessary document with a court order and resealing the box in which they were stored went smoothly.

So did the vote count.

Voters have a high degree of skepticism over vote counts, but in this case most people seem relieved that the party now has its nominee and he can move on to the General Election against Democrat Ronnie Shipley.

Mr. Lyons certainly won admirers for the way he graciously handled his defeat to Ken Livingston. Gov. Bob Riley appointed Mr. Lyons, a former banker, to the commission when John Glasscock gave up the District 2 seat to become commission chairman 21 months ago.

Both commission candidates displayed class. The party needed that display from its candidates.

That Mr. Lyons said he will not contest the outcome means he, too, is satisfied with how officials handled the vote count.

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