LIMA — No, the president will not be on this year’s ballot. Neither will the governor.
However, if you want to help serve your fellow village residents as a member of Elida or Cridersville Village Council, or if you want to have a direct say in your child’s education as a member of the Lima or New Bremen school board, or if you want to help your neighbors as a Richland or Union Township trustee, there is still time to get your name on the ballot for these and other similar positions.
The deadline to file a petition to run in the upcoming November General Election is 4 p.m. Aug. 9, meaning there is still a chance to obtain a nomination petition form from your local county Board of Elections or online at http://bit.ly/2hf8FQU. Depending on the position being sought, as few as 25 signatures of registered voters in the affected political subdivision are needed to qualify as a candidate.
For Allen County Board of Elections Director Kathy Meyer, these are the elections that have the greatest impact on a voter’s day-to-day life.
“I tell people all the time, these ‘lesser’ officials for these local positions are probably as important, if not more important, than your federal or state candidates because these are the people who make decisions for you right here,” she said.
In Auglaize County, petitions have been somewhat slow coming in, according to Board of Elections Deputy Director Peggy Matheny, but she was anticipating
“We’re expecting a big rush next week,” she said. “It’s mostly township trustees, village councils, school board members and county school board members. We’ll also have the carryover from the people on the ballot in the primary.”
The notion of running for a township trustee or school board member position may seem somewhat daunting, but there are resources available to help a prospective candidate navigate the requirements of getting on the ballot.
“The Secretary of State has a candidate guide for this year on its website, or you can get one down here with your petition,” Meyer said. “We can’t hold people’s hands with it, but we give them a printed set of instructions and a [Frequently Asked Question] sheet to go by so they know what they’re doing as far as how many signatures they will need.”
While Meyer acknowledged that school board positions or village council positions may lack a certain notoriety, she said the need is still there for people passionate about public service.
“It’s a thankless job, but if you care about things like education and what our kids learn, we need those people on the ballot,” she said.
Even if a petition is not filed by the Aug. 9 deadline, prospective candidates can still file to run as a write-in candidate without the signature petition requirement. The deadline to file as a write-in candidate is Aug. 28.