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Georgia: federal court allows 2 on Effingham Co. ballot, but excludes 1

The Savannah Morning News reports: Two Effingham County Commission hopefuls were approved by a federal judge for this year's election, but a third was left scratching his head after being rejected.

U.S. District Court Judge Avant Edenfield's ruling on residency requirements stemming from a 1982 civil rights suit permits Steve Collins to run in District 5 and Michael King in District 2. ...

Questions about the residency of the three candidates were raised just hours after the April 28 qualifying deadline when county officials came across a residency requirement set 22 years ago by Edenfield. As part of a civil rights lawsuit settlement between a minority organization and county officials, Edenfield wrote a consent order aimed at giving minorities more voting strength.

Part of the agreement stipulated a five-year residency requirement for candidates, a regulation which was soon forgotten and never enforced.

Voting rules have changed over the years since the consent order, nearly eliminating residency requirements.

Collins and King are Effingham residents, but not for five consecutive years. Wilkins has lived in Effingham for more than five years, but wanted to qualify for a district that he hopes to relocate to by the election. -- SavannahNOW | Two Effingham candidates get go-ahead, third rejected - 06/05/2006

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