606 S.W.2d 159
Supreme Court of Kentucky.
Maynard THOMAS, Jr., Movant, v. Harold COLLINSWORTH, Martha McDonald, Jim Matt Mooneyham, Curtis Gambrel, Paul Buchanan and the Knox County Board of Elections, Respondents.
July 15, 1980.
ACTION: Affirmed in part and reversed in part.


On review from the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court held that:
(1) bumper stickers do not come within ambit of the Corrupt Practices Act provision requiring that all "newspaper or magazine advertising, posters, circulars, billboards, handbills, sample ballots and paid-for television or radio announcements" espousing the support or defeat of a candidate or candidates for nomination or election to public office be followed by an identification of the persons or organizations paying for such advertisements, and

(2) assuming that the physical act of mailing absentee ballots to the county clerk's office by the movant or his supporters after they had been voted and sealed by the absentee voters would be a sufficient irregularity to invalidate those particular votes, such did not justify eliminating all of the absentee ballots and thus disfranchising those whose ballots had been properly handled. Decision of the Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part; judgment of the trial court reversed with directions.

PER CURIAM.
A section of the Corrupt Practices Act, requires that all "newspaper or magazine advertising, posters, circulars, billboards, handbills, sample ballots and paid-for television or radio announcements" espousing the support or defeat of a candidate or candidates for nomination or election to public office be followed by an identification of the persons or organizations paying for such advertisements. As first enacted in 1966, the requirement applied to "All advertisements, billboards, handbills, paid-for television and radio announcements and all other communications intended to support or defeat a candidate . . ." (Emphasis added). As the statute then read, it might well be argued that its language was broad enough to include bumper-stickers.

(1) Though it would not be unreasonable to consider bumper-stickers as a type of "poster" and certainly they can be and are so used their use has been so widespread and of such long standing that we cannot believe the General Assembly during this course of its attention to the subject would have overlooked listing them specifically had it not intended them to be excluded from the requirement. We therefore hold that Collinsworth was not disqualified by reason of having used bumper-stickers that did not conform to that statute.

(2) Assuming, but without deciding, that the physical act of mailing absentee ballots to the county clerk's office by Thomas or his supporters after they had been voted and sealed by the absentee voters would be a sufficient irregularity to invalidate those particular votes, we do not think it justified eliminating all of the absentee ballots and thus disfranchising those whose ballots had been properly handled. The number of ballots proved to have been mailed in by Thomas or his representatives was 43. Deducting that number of votes from his total would leave him still the winner by 12 votes.

The decision of the Court of Appeals is affirmed in part and reversed in part, and the judgment of the trial court is reversed with directions that a new judgment be entered in conformity with this opinion.

PALMORE, C. J., and CLAYTON, LUKOWSKY, STEPHENS, STEPHENSON and STERNBERG, JJ., sitting.

All concur.
Ky., 1980.
Thomas v. Collinsworth
606 S.W.2d 159


     

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