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Candidates' qualifications for office to be determined five days before election

Robert Jenkins will be on the ballot for Snellville City Council, but a hearing Friday will determine whether or not he can vote for himself.

Former City Councilman Joe Anderson challenged Jenkins' voter registration and, therefore, his eligibility to be on the ballot.

According to the letter he wrote to city and county officials, Anderson believed Jenkins was ineligible because his voter registration had not been transferred to Jenkins' new address a year after he moved because of a divorce.

Snellville's city attorney already concluded that Anderson's challenge isn't valid because he doesn't live in the city and the deadline for challenges had already passed.

Gwinnett's Election Supervisor Lynn Ledford scheduled a hearing for 5 p.m. Friday for the Board of Registrations and Elections to determine if Jenkins' registration is correct.

She said she had received a change of address form from the councilman. While computers didn't clear the information until a week ago, the form had been turned in on time, Ledford said.

"I don't understand the malicious politics," Jenkins said, blaming the challenge on his opponent Garry Lapides and Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer, who is a constant critic of Jenkins.

Lapides said he only met Anderson a few times and had no idea that he was planning to challenge Jenkins' qualifications.

"If there's a violation of law, it should be explored," Lapides said. "If he's eligible to run, he should run. If not, he shouldn't be on the ballot."

The City Council election in Snellville, along with elections in 11 other Gwinnett cities, will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.