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FIRSTON9: Clerical error blamed for Benwood Election Day mistake

Updated: Tuesday, May 20 2014, 05:35 PM EDT

BENWOOD, W.Va.-- Officials in Benwood say a clerical error is to blame for leaving a city councilman's name off the ballot last Tuesday.

Curtis Mele was not on the ballot for First Ward City Council. Instead Chuck Terry's name was on the ballot, but he's not up for re-election for another two years.

Terry discovered the mistake when he went in to vote. Election officials in Marshall County were advised of the problem.

"I have advised them to contact the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office because it was not on our end," said Marshall County Clerk Jan Pest.

Officials said City Clerk Judy Hunt made the clerical error.

Mayor Edward Kuca, Jr. said the S.O.S office has advised them that an appointment may be possible, but that would only be for about two years until the next election; Mele was running for four.

Mele said he's unhappy with that resolution.

"It's not good enough, I should be on for four years," said Mele. "Leaving a name off the ballot should not have happened. It's a lack of communication."

Attorneys for the city and Mele are looking into the matter. A special election may be required, which could cost taxpayers.

Kuca said he understand everyone's frustrations.

"Here you are ready to celebrate another four years, you're running unopposed, and we have this incident," Kuca said.

Kuca said councilhas been working togetherwell for the city and he can understand whyMele's upset.

"When you run unopposed it means you're doing a good job, but mistakes are made and it'll be resolved," Kuca said.

Normally a city charter would determine what would happen in a situation like this, but nothing in Benwood's books addresses it.

Stick with NEWS9 and for the latest.

FIRSTON9: Clerical error blamed for Benwood Election Day mistake

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