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Final arguments submitted in Putnam County voter fraud challenge

Opponent claims 42 votes were illegally cast in race won by 16 votes

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PALATKA, Fla. – Lawyers supporting Putnam County Sheriff Gator Deloach, a Democrat, and Republican Jon Kinney, who lost last November's election by 16 votes have presented written arguments to a judge challenging the results.

The attorney for Jon Kinney, Zachery Keller, contends that 42 illegal votes were cast in the race, and has asked the judge to remove Deloach from office and name Kinney sheriff, or at least have Gov. Rick Scott appoint an interim sheriff until another election can be held.

Deloach and the Putnam County Canvassing Board contend that Kinney has not proven he is entitled to be named sheriff.

According to the complaint, those ballots included 32 votes by convicted felons who have not had their voting rights restored, three ballots from people listed as deceased, three ballots from people who are not residents of Putnam County, two ballots received after Election Day, one ballot from a Putnam County resident who also voted in New Jersey and one from a person ruled mentally incompetent.

Of the 42 votes in question, it is not known how 41 of them were cast. The 42nd voter has told the judge he voted for Deloach.

There is no word when Circuit Judge Gary Wilkinson might rule on the case.