Court must protect rules

Published 10:29 am Friday, September 4, 2009

Ohio’s Supreme Court has the chance to send a clear message: Don’t follow the rules and you won’t be on the ballot.

A case waiting to be heard by the state’s high court has significant local impact because it affects three political hopefuls who would like to see their names on the November ballot.

Plus, the law being contested — unofficially called the “Charlie Wilson Law” — was essentially adopted because the elected official who represents this region in U.S. House of Representatives was able to beat the system.

Email newsletter signup

The issue centers around the question of whether or not a political candidate seeking office who has his petitions invalidated can then seek the same office, the same year, as a write-in candidate.

Wilson did so successfully about three years ago in a historic write-in campaign. The Ohio Legislature changed the law the same day he won the primary, closing the door on this loophole.

Or so they thought.

Now this law has been challenged and the Ohio Supreme Court should rule on it quickly.

Vic Hopper, Ralph “Butch” Huff and Randy Mullins all filed as write-in candidates for their respective races after their nominating petitions were rejected on Aug. 21.

The bottom line is that it doesn’t have anything to do with political parties or individuals. Rules are rules.

If candidates cannot follow the guidelines to get on the ballot, they should be required to sit out.

We want our leaders to show the good decision making and attention to detail that is associated with filing petitions the right way.

Our state’s high court has a chance to affirm the legislation that makes this a priority and ensures that candidates have to live within the system that has worked here in America.