(03/31/2008)
Anne Barth, Democratic candidate for West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District, won't be appearing on the ballot in May - but someone named Ann Barth will.

Actually, the two are the same, as far as the West Virginia Secretary of State's office is concerned.

Barth (left) is well-known to the Calhoun community, her grandmother, the late Louise McDonald, was one of the county's most respected teachers.

The office called Anne Barth - the actual candidate - Thursday to inform her that, even though she had filled out all her filing papers correctly, her name would not appear correctly on the thousands of paper ballots, absentee ballots, and the optical scan ballots already printed for the May primary election because, well, "they goofed."

Barth is a first-time candidate who has been working diligently to establish name recognition in her district.

She is in a challenge to win her parties nomination to face Congresswoman Shelly Moore Capito this fall.

Taking full responsibility for the error is the Secretary of State's office.

They have cited code 3-1-21 F as a way to remedy the situation. The code would allow the Secretary of State to order all the ballots to be reprinted correctly.

The cost to West Virginia taxpayers is between $100,000-$125,000, according to the Secretary of State's office.

"I hold no ill will at all toward the Secretary of State's Office," Anne Barth said, "but I do have a concern about government mistakes that cost taxpayers money. We all pay a price for those mistakes."

"One of the reasons I am running for Congress is that I believe in fiscal responsibility. I believe taxpayers too often end up paying for the mistakes of government. We need to restore some fiscal sanity to Washington. That is a big reason why I am running," Barth said.

"I would never cause the taxpayers of West Virginia to have to pay $125,000 to clean up the mistake made by the Secretary of State's Office."


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