Candidate left off the Peoria council ballot considers lawsuit - FOX 13 News

Candidate left off the Peoria council ballot considers lawsuit

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PEORIA, Ariz. - It's believed to be the first time in Arizona history that a valid candidate was left off the ballot.

Dr. Ken Krieger is running for City Council in the Mesquite District of Peoria.

But when the early voter ballots were delivered to mailboxes last week, his name was missing. He's now considering a lawsuit.

We've gone to 4,000 homes to meet people, personally we've hung door hangers, we've had meetings, I've made personally 2,500 calls to voters to let them know who I am," said Dr. Ken Krieger.

Despite his efforts, Dr. Krieger was alerted by his opponent last Friday that his name was not listed on the early voter ballot for the Peoria City Council.

"I failed to put him back on the ballot," said Karen Osborne.

Karen Osborne, the Maricopa County Direct of Elections, takes responsibility. She says she forgot to put his name on the ballot after he prevailed in a court challenge.

"I regret it very much, and I apologized to Mr. Krieger directly, I know that doesn't fix the situation," said Osborne.

While replacement ballots were mailed on Monday, an insert tells voters there was an error but it does not specify Krieger's name was left off the ballot.

"The county's plan for solving this plan is illegal, and it's not fair to Dr. Krieger, his family, military supporters overseas, and voters in his district," said Kory Langhofer.

Krieger's attorney, Langhofer, argues the replacement ballots were not mailed in time, and he takes issue with Dr. Krieger's name appearing last on the ballot, despite state laws requiring rotating candidate names.

"The most fair way to do this would be to extend the ballot return deadline, give voters a notice of who's name was taken off the ballot, or if you can't do that, then have a special election where we do this right," said Langhofer.

Osborne said it would have taken longer to rotate candidate names. She said they've put in safeguards to ensure the error does not happen again. She estimates printing and mailing the replacement ballot will cost $15,000.

Krieger's attorney said they're deciding whether to sue before or after the election.
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