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Electoral flimflam

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Conduct a primary election like it’s the 1920s? Horsefeathers!

A newshawk here at the Times tells us that the big cheeses at the Watertown City Hall never spilled the beans to the Jefferson County Board of Elections about a 1993 election law that replaces the one written in 1920.

County election bigwigs put together a designating petition that mirrored the election law so the candidates would have the goods when they tried to get on the ballot.

But now that the county honchos are wise to the 1993 law, they got the heebie-jeebies. The mucky mucks at City Hall certainly didn’t hit on all sixes with this one, and county election officials feel like they got smacked right in the kisser.

Thanks to the saps at the city, members of the county election board didn’t know from nothin’. They cast a kitten when they found out about the newer election law and believe they were behind the eight ball with the 1920 version.

What’s the matter? You guys at the city can’t stop beatin’ your gums with some chin music long enough to stretch those stilts or grab a dimbox to the election board and make everything copacetic?

Of course, now City Hall has its own beef. Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham is claiming it’s not his responsibility to get a wiggle on and punch the bag with county officials. They should already have the skinny about the revised version; it’s the county’s job to know about all the laws and to run the elections, Mayor Graham said.

Ah, pipe down! We’ve heard an earful.

That’s just a load of bunk. The mayor is all wet on this one. The folks at the city could have kept this situation from getting all balled up if they had convened a bull session with the county to make sure the election was a square deal.

Jerry O. Eaton, a GOP commissioner with the county election board, is not jake with Mayor Graham’s explanation. He said the city must keep the county up to date on its laws.

Now you’re on the trolley! If the city is going to pass its own laws, it should be on the up and up about it.

The county shouldn’t have to hire a gumshoe to figure out how Watertown wants to run its elections. It shelled out some clams to be sitting pretty at election time, and the city left it holding the bag.

The matter could have been handled in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. Then the City Hall jamokes would have been soarin’ in the sky like Lucky Lindy rather than looking like a bunch of lollygaggers.

So how can county election officials make sure their efforts don’t flop? Well, kiddo, here’s what you do. Have the county mouthpiece look over the newer law and make sure everything’s ducky with how you’ve been running the elections.

Finger any discrepancies that may exist and drop a dime to City Hall to make sure there isn’t anything hinky. Then jaw it out with city officials to see that nothing is left under the lid.

Perhaps someday we can all toss back some giggle water at Mayor Graham’s gin mill on Pearl Street and have a good laugh about this. These are modern times, we tell you, and we want to see to it that everything is on the level.

So let’s put the 1920s in a Jalopy and send it packing. Making sure everyone is apprised of all the election laws — now that’s the bee’s knees!

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