Judge fixes Portsmouth’s charter oops

In a ruling yesterday, Chief Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Melvin agreed with me:we don’t vote on the first Tuesday in June.

Melvin said the early deadline in the charter was impossible to comply with because it calls for petitions by the close of the polls on the first Tuesday in June. The only polls in June fall on the second Tuesday, for primaries. The deadline as stated in the charter simply cannot exist, Melvin said.

A fictional date was what I called it. But I missed, in my earlier piece, that a similar fictional date existed in the previous charter.

The previous version of the city charter also included a filing deadline error – one that wasn’t caught for 38 years, [State Sen. L. Louise] Lucas said. That listed a filing cutoff of the first Tuesday in March for the May elections, even though the second Tuesday in March was the one that was always advertised and followed.

No one caught the mistake all these years. Which begs the question: why was it brought to the attention of the registrar this year? I suspect somebody wanted to keep certain candidates off the ballot.

In any event, congratulations to Elizabeth Psimas and Paul Smith for pursuing this. The reward is that Portsmouth will have two more names on its ballot.

By the way – I haven’t posted candidates lists for the upcoming local elections but will do so this week.


One thought on “Judge fixes Portsmouth’s charter oops

Comments are closed.