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Ballot change irks mayor

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Mayor Jeff Graham is upset about changes to the city's ballots, but elections officials say they're just following the law and simplifying the forms.
Mr. Graham takes issue with a change in where the nonpartisan mayoral contest shows up on the ballot (Mr. Graham faces Councilman Jeff Smith in the Nov. 8 race).
The races used to be set off to the side, and listed specifically as "nonpartisan" races.
"Instead the city offices are listed as partisan races with the candidates names far down ballot like they are independent candidates," Mr. Graham writes.
But elections commissioners Jerry Eaton and Sean Hennessey tell me that this was also the case in 2009 — and they've got the documentation to prove it. In addition, the ballot from 2007, the last mayoral race and the last time it was set off to the side, is sort of confusing. For example, on the partisan part of the ballot, Row A are the Democrats. And the mayoral candidates are listed in Row A as well, making it appear as if they're all Dems.
Mr. Hennessey said there's nothing in city or state law that says the races need to be specially designated.
For the time being, though, I encourage you to take a good look at a sample city ballot. Take a second to find the mayoral contest, too, which is all the way at the bottom.

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