Ohio Supreme Court Puts Constitution Party Candidate on Primary Ballot, Sets Valuable Precedent

On March 31, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled 6-1 that Robert Owens should be on the Constitution Party’s primary ballot for Attorney General. Owens needed 500 valid signatures. The various counties checked his petitions and sent the results into the Secretary of State, who tallied the results and said he only had 481 valid signatures. Here is the 15-page decision, State ex rel Owens v Brunner, 2010-1374.

The Court found that Franklin County (which contains Columbus) did not follow the Secretary of State’s instructions, and improperly invalidated far too many of Owens’ signatures. Ohio petitions forms, unfortunately, do not include a space for the signer to print his or her name. Many people have illegible cursive signatures. To remedy this, Ohio petition forms ask signers to print their address. Elections officials are supposed to use the address to identify signers whose cursive signatures can’t be read. But Franklin County did not do that.

Ohio elections officials, for at least 20 years, have done a poor job of checking signatures on petitions. Typically, petitions in Ohio need twice as many signatures as the legal requirement, to be declared valid. This decision is of great importance, far beyond just the specific outcome that Robert Owens will now be on the Constitution Party’s primary ballot. The vote was 6-1. The dissenter said that because absentee voting has already started, on ballots that omit Owens, therefore the decision is a mistake. But both the majority and the dissenter agreed that the Ohio legislature should provide for an earlier petition deadline, to give election officials more time to do a good job of checking petitions. Thanks to Robert Owens for this news.


Ohio Supreme Court Puts Constitution Party Candidate on Primary Ballot, Sets Valuable Precedent — No Comments

  1. Where is that MODEL STATE ELECTION LAW — for the party hack MORONS to enact — to END all the MORON petition stuff that goes on and on and on ???

  2. Just abolish petition requirements. Candidates are citizens. The statutory right to vote entails a right to candidacy. No petitions, therefore no bureaucratic perversions of the process.

    The lengthy lead times to print ballots are technologically anachronistic and merely an excuse for incumbent entrenchment. Only certain absentee ballots need be printed far in advance to comply with Federal law for overseas voters. Domestic ballots can be printed at polling places on demand on election day with security and speed.

  3. Clarification: The ‘statutory’ right to vote and candidacy referred to in the previous post are due process implementing laws for the constitutional rights admitted and reserved to the people in the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    Constitutions do not protect rights. At best they serve as a guardian of order. When government violates those rights the constitutional document signifies to the people that the decision ‘to alter or abolish’ is at hand and morally justified. A decision which each person has the ultimate responsibility to decide for himself.

    Strong post may follow….

  4. #2 And accuracy?

    Ohio is having to administer 7 parallel elections, without considering combinations of districts.

    If Ohio would split up its elections and eliminate the partisan primaries it could go to all write-in elections.

    In this case, the candidate is having to gather the equivalent of votes, and then have the county election officials try to verify the voters. But if instead voters went to the polling place, their identity could be verified, and then they could simply print the name of each candidate on the appropriate ballot.

    Statewide offices, give each voter a different color ballot for each office. Write-in the name of the candidate they want and place it in a box of the same color.

    Federal elections. You need at most three ballots, one senate and one for representative and one for presidential elector.

    Legislature. Two ballots. Perhaps a couple of others if there is an elected board of education or other district elections.

    Another for county elections.

    Many cities and school districts already have separate elections.

    Make the first Tuesday after the first Monday in every month an election day.

  5. #4: No need for colored paper. Just print a colored stripe down the center of the page.

  6. IF and WHEN there is 100 percent secure internet stuff, then there could be internet voting — to also allow advanced voting — YES/NO and 1,2,3, etc. — for head to math math in large areas.

    Sorry – ballots must have a reasonable size for the many marginal voters.

    Names on ballots also via electronic nominating petitions.

    How many $$$ TRILLIONS are moved around electronically ???

    Along with a zillion top secret military orders, etc. ???

  7. #6: There will never be a secure internet, forget electronic voting. Electronically assisted printing of ballots is entirely different. Voting must remain a physically verifiable act employing a physical medium without any electronic mediation. Visit Black Box Voting. org. (The Bev Harris site).

    Only a physical medium (paper ballot) provides a check on the accuracy of electronic counting. All ballots should be physically counted by human beings as a check on electronic tabulations. The human counting should be public with tabulations matched to electronic counters and THAT can be streamed to the internet.

    On ballot size: Did you ever notice tabs in books? If necessary post a color chart for tabs on a multipage ballot and print colored tabs on the ballots for each office or question. This objection is largely theoretical. The solutions to the objection are trivial and I offer only one as an example. It’s like saying that telephones should never have been used because old telephone books became too large. Rubbish.

    Ballots will never be the size of telephone books, but even if they were it would still be manageable.

  8. Pingback: Ohio Supreme Court puts CP candidate on Primary ballot | Independent Political Report

  9. All sorts of petitions can now be downloaded, printed and circulated.

    Ballots next ???

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