LIMA — Petition filing issues with the Allen County Board of Elections has barred a number of current town council and school board members from re-election this November.
Of the 12 petitions rejected this past month, half are incumbents of the positions. They include Cairo Councilor Robert Douglas, Elida Councilor Larry Flick, Spencerville Clerk Lori Och, Spencerville Councilor Greg Hover, Lima School Board member Michael Ley and Perry School Board member Ryan Lauck.
Candidates are restricted by law to refile petitions nor can they be considered as a write-in candidate.
ACBOE Executive Director Kathy Meyer said the petitions that were rejected had filing errors, such as leaving the election date blank, or missing important items like a circulator’s statement.
Other problems involved the number of required valid signatures. Meyer said signatures can be discounted if those signing do not live within the necessary municipality or if the signature doesn’t match a voter’s registration signature.
“If one is in cursive and the other printed, we have to make it non-genuine,” Meyer said. “We try our best to match them and we are fairly lenient.”
While potential candidates can submit three times the number of required signatures for a position, Meyer encourages those that come into the ACBOE to secure 10% to 20% more signatures than is necessary to ensure that any non-valid signatures don’t affect final filing status.
While the rejected petitions complicate the issue, individuals from the wider public still have a chance to run as write-in candidates, which requires simpler paperwork. The deadline to do so is Aug. 26.
During the election, any names added to the ballot won’t be counted unless the write-in petition is filed and verified, Meyer said.
If no candidates end up filing for a position, the ruling body involved has the option to appoint somebody, Meyer said. At that point, the appointee has to run as a candidate the following year to fill the rest of the unexpired term.
Those already holding a position may also be required to stay at a position if no candidate files for the office.
“The statuary law says that person is stuck. If they don’t want to stay there, they can resign and someone would be appointed, depending on office,” Meyer said.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.