Trustees should honor voter’s choice
In many cases, elections do not end once the votes are counted.
As we learned more than a decade ago during the 2000 presidential election, many factors can alter the results.
This is the case with the results of the recent Windsor Township Trustee elections, where two candidates were elected.
However, due to circumstances and state law, Mark Johnson cannot accept the election by the voters of the township.
In this case, the township trustees appear to be taking the correct steps in completing the procedure of appointing the member to fill the vacancy.
According to the Ohio Revised Code 503.24, current trustees can fill the open position in the case where an individual who was elected does not complete the proper process of acceptance.
The process of appointment is rather straightforward with little requirements for those who wish to be potential candidates, as those must reside in the township and be 18 years old at the time of the general election.
Although there are no specific procedural elements other than those two requirements for appointments listed in the ORC, we feel that all townships should fill any vacancies through a process where the appointments are made from the candidates who ran in the election according to the number of votes.
Then, if none of those individuals accept the appointment, the board can go outside to fill the vacancy.
While we do not feel this is the case with Windsor Township, these limited requirements and procedures could lead to liberties being taken with appointments to circumvent the system and ensure certain individuals are awarded seats but potentially would not be elected.