The Wood County Board of Elections has rejected two candidate petitions for the Perrysburg Council race.
Three petitions were reviewed by the board at Thursday’s meeting. Deborah Born and Robert Vela Jr. had their petitions rejected, while Jan Materni’s petition was approved.
The signature date on Born’s petition was initially dated Jan. 31, when first brought into the Wood County Board of Elections offices.
New paperwork was then supplied. The official paperwork turned in to the board of elections appeared to indicate a date of Jan. 3. Meanwhile, the earliest dated signature was from Jan. 15.
“This is typically a fatal flaw,” board member Mike Zickar said.
Burton confirmed Zickar’s belief that a date signed by the potential candidate, after the petition received a signature, is grounds for rejection.
All three board members looked over the petitions.
In a follow-up interview Burton laid out the set of circumstances.
“A set of petitions were brought to us on Tuesday and the staff member that took them in pointed out to Deborah and her people, that this was dated on the 31st and it was supposed to be dated before anyone signed the petition,” Burton said.
As clarification, Burton said that “it was noticed before (Born) officially filed.”
“The initial placement of this, our staff reported, as dated Jan. 31, which is signed after the majority of these signatures,” Zickar added.
He and other board members clarified that “the candidate has to sign this prior to circulation.”
“Because these dates are all earlier, it does appear that these (dates) may have been altered. I don’t know that they were, but they certainly appear so,” Burton said. “I have not had a situation like (this).”
Vela’s petition was rejected for insufficient signatures.
The petitions require 50 signatures. Vela’s petition had 57 signatures, but seven were from outside Perrysburg, from Middleton or Perrysburg townships, and an additional five were not registered voters.
“Honestly, to file 57 signatures, when you need 50 good ones, there wasn’t enough room for error,” Burton said. “(It) is very straightforward, it’s simply not having enough valid signatures.”
Two of Materni’s statement of candidacy sheets had errors. One form indicated the incorrect date for the election, off by two days, and another was lacking the county, but did correctly indicate that it was Perrysburg.
“The board did not feel it was sufficient to mislead the voters on what they were signing,” Burton said.
He added that there is board precedent for approving statements of candidacy with those errors.
Both rejections were made unanimously by the three board members, with both the Republican and Democratic parties represented in the vote.
The remaining candidates for Bowling Green and Perrysburg were unanimously certified by the board.
There will not be a primary. There are no contested races within the parties for offices in Bowling Green. The threshold required for a primary was not met Perrysburg, where at least 10 candidates for council would be required.
Candidates for Perrysburg Council are: Materni, Cory Kuhlman, Sue Larimer, Timothy McCarthy, Richard Rettig and Kerry Wellstein.
Candidates for Bowling Green are:
• Mayor: Democrat Michael Aspacher and Republican Tim Stechschulte
• Council-at-Large: Democrat Jeffery Dennis and Republican Douglas Simpson
• 1st Ward Council: Democrat Nick Rubando and Republican David Drain
• 2nd Ward Council: Democrat Joel O’Dorisio
• 3rd Ward Council: Democrat Rachel Phipps and Republican Karen Trent
• 4th Ward Council: Republican William Herald
Eastwood Local School District has a tax levy renewal for general permanent improvements, which will be 2 mills for five years, commencing in 2023.
In other business, four polling locations that are partially in the Eastwood School District have been moved to whole precincts. Consolidation of precincts can be done for special elections.
“In a sense, it saves some money, because we don’t have to have all those extra locations, for what could be very few voters,” Burton said.
The precinct name and number will remain the same, but the voting will take place in the same facilities.
Polling location 210 Center Township has been moved to the Pemberville American Legion 183, and three locations have been moved to the Tory Township Maintenance Building, including: 470 Middleton Township South, 490 Middleton Township Dunbridge and 671 Perrysburg Township South.
The voting machine deployment for the May 2 elections in Pemberville American Legion 183, Stacy’s Place and Troy Township Maintenance Building was approved by the board.
The paper ballot distribution list, covering 12 precincts, was unanimously approved by the board.
Burton also discussed some of the election law changes coming with the passage of Ohio House Bill 458, titled “Revised Code to modify the law governing voter identification and absent voting and other aspects of the Election Law and to make changes regarding driver’s licenses and state identification cards.”
Among the changes is a requirement for immediate provision of footage from the newly required video security camera which will be covering the ballot dropbox outside the Wood County Courthouse building.
Burton said that the camera is expected to be using the same broadcasting technology used for the Falcon Cam, but it will also be hooked into the county security camera system for recording purposes.
Zickar called the requirement an unfunded mandate and requested the cost to Wood County taxpayers. Burton confirmed that the funds for the project will not be provided by the state and will provide those numbers.