State Supreme Court to hear Magoffin County election-fraud case

The state Supreme Court has agreed to review a lower-court decision that would force Magoffin County Judge-Executive Charles “Doc” Hardin out of office if it stands.

The case stems from the November 2014 election, in which Republican challenger John P. Montgomery faced Hardin, the incumbent Democrat. Montgomery received more votes on Election Day, but Hardin received far more absentee ballots to win by 28 votes.

Montgomery alleged fraud by Hardin and improper conduct by election officials. Hardin denied any wrongdoing.

A circuit judge threw out the results and declared the office vacant. The Court of Appeals upheld that decision, leading to the request for review by the state’s highest court.

Hardin can stay in office while the case is on appeal.

Hardin’s attorneys argue the lower-court decisions were flawed.