There were so many violations of election rules in last November’s election for Magoffin County judge-executive that the results must be thrown out, a judge has ruled. Circuit Judge John David Preston declared the office vacant, creating a question about Judge-Executive Charles “Doc” Hardin’s status. Hardin, a Democrat seeking a third consecutive term, defeated Republican challenger John P. Montgomery by 28 votes in the disputed election, 3,281 to 3,253. On Saturday, one of Hardin’s attorneys, James L. Deckard, said Hardin is disappointed with the ruling and will appeal. In Preston’s decision, he cited a raft of improprieties, including a lack of required information on applications for absentee ballots; precinct officers failing to document how they identified voters and improperly helping people vote; and residents casting early ballots at the county clerk’s office when there was no Republican election commissioner present as required.
Preston also concluded county workers acting under the direct supervision of Hardin illegally spread gravel on private driveways in at least four or five cases shortly before the election.
Also, the decision cited evidence that a few people sold their votes. In one case, a man named Larry Douglas Perkins, who operates the Handi Mart at Falcon, said he saw Simon Marshall the day of the election. Marshall had a $50 bill and wanted to know how much beer he could get, according to Perkins’ testimony.