Ohio Recall Petition Invalidated Because of Missing Sentence

On July 27, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a recall petition against the Mayor of Toledo is invalid because the petition sheets failed to carry these words: “Whoever Commits Election Falsification is Guilty of a Felony of the 5th Degree.”

The Toledo City Charter has provisions for recalls, and does not mention that recall petitions need this sentence. But the state election law does include it. The Court ruled that recall petitions need to follow both state election law and local laws.

The minority on the State Supreme Court would have thrown the case out on procedural grounds, because the Mayor filed his lawsuit directly with the State Supreme Court instead of the lower court. The case is State ex rel Finkbeiner v Lucas Co. Bd. of Elections, 2009-3657. Thanks to Steve Linnabary for this news.

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