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Superior court judge affirms ruling to keep Port Wentworth candidate’s name off ballot

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 1:49 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2021 at 6:32 PM EDT
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PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. (WTOC) - The name of a disqualified mayoral candidate in Port Wentworth will not appear on the November ballot.

Chatham County Superior Court Judge Lisa Goldwire Colbert issued an order in the case of Julius Hall on Monday, Sept. 27.

Her decision affirms a ruling made on Sept. 9 by the Port Wentworth elections superintendent to keep Hall’s name off the ballot.

At issue is whether the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles supersedes the Georgia Constitution when it comes to someone being eligible to run for public office.

In Hall’s case, the elections superintendent determined he had not met the Georgia state constitution standards of candidate eligibility. It requires a candidate be at least 10 years removed from the completion of a sentence.

Only eight years have passed since Hall was released from federal prison in 2013.

Hall’s attorney argued Hall was eligible after his civil rights were restored in January by the state parole board.

Judge Colbert’s ruling stated in part:

“While the Parole Board has constitutional authority to remove disabilities imposed by law as a result of a conviction, the board has no authority to remove eligibility requirements to hold public office, whether those requirements are imposed by the constitution or statute.”

Hall said he plans to appeal Judge Colbert’s decision to the Georgia Supreme Court. He says the law is cloudy when it comes to his predicament, and he wants it clarified not just for him but for anyone else.

You can read the superior court judge’s ruling below:

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