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Errors take 8 candidates out of races

Eight ballot hopefuls who filed petitions last week are no longer in the running for political office this November.

Saturday, August 28, 1999

Eight ballot hopefuls who filed petitions last week are no longer in the running for political office this November.

Meeting Thursday, the Lawrence County Election Board rejected five candidate petitions because of insufficient signatures and disallowed one other.

Two candidates withdrew from General Election races.

Directed by state law, Election Board members must evaluate every petition after the election’s filing deadline, which was Aug. 19, deputy director Ella Lawless said.

Rigid guidelines governing the number of signatures, the information given by petition signers and other items on election petitions must be followed in order for a candidate to receive a spot on a ballot, she said.

The five petitions rejected because of insufficient signatures showed a number of problems, including incomplete address, names of non-registered voters and multiple signatures written by the same person, Ms. Lawless said.

They are just mistakes, but the board must follow the rules and reject the petitions, she said.

Those petitions included:

– Gilbert Rawlins for Washington Township clerk.

– Chester S. Null for Proctorville Village Council.

– Maria Oakes for the Ironton Board of Education.

– Allan Blankenship for Perry Township trustee.

– Donnie Klaiber for Coal Grove Village Council.

A petition filed by Jeff Kelley for the Rock Hill Board of Education was disallowed because it lacked an original signature of the candidate.

The signature was there, yet the petition sheets were all photocopies and that is just not allowed by election law, Ms. Lawless said.

Billie Mayberry Barbour, seeking a seat on the Symmes Valley Board of Education, and Rickey Cox, seeking a term as Elizabeth Township trustee, voluntarily withdrew from their races.

Election board member Bob Griffith said some candidates accuse the board of being too picky when it comes to approving or disapproving petitions, but it has no choice.

"We try to help everybody," he said. "We want everybody to run. But rules are rules are rules."

Griffith said election board workers even go beyond what’s required by the state in assisting election filers, but the candidate is ultimately responsible for what happens.

"We want to get them on the ballot, but it comes down to how they handle their petitions," he said.

The official November election ballot will be printed in the next couple of weeks, but candidates may withdraw up to the day before the election, Ms. Lawless said.