Board of Elections inserts itself in the way of the voters

The signatures were good. The petition was turned in on time. The issue is what day did I declare my candidacy?

My answer: I’ve never declared my candidacy, the Board of Elections declares my candidacy.

Today they rejected it- because I put the date of turn-in on my petitions instead of some arbitrary date in advance of the signature dates. Now, all the voters who signed directly in my presence, with full understanding of what they were signing- are being declared as:

1) either fraudulently collected under false pretense

2) invalid because I somehow deceived them

Reality- the form isn’t even available for people to look at. And, in many other cases, incumbents running for office had different dates in their petitions- but were allowed on the ballot. I’ve attached petitions from Nan Whaley and Rhine McLin showing different ways of filling out the exact same form. Either there is one correct way- or there isn’t- or is it only for “endorsed candidates.”

The Board of Elections is run by appointed Dems and Republicans- you don’t get a say in who makes these decisions. When asked how to appeal their decision- they won’t tell you. Amazing- yet these people are paid with your tax dollars.

Of course, the Dayton Daily News paints me as a failure:

David Esrati’s petition for the May primary election to Congress was rejected on Tuesday, Feb. 23, by the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

Esrati asked that the board to accept his petition even though he failed to sign and date his candidacy declaration prior to passing the petition for signatures.

Esrati sought the Democratic nomination for the Third District Congressional seat. The board said his failure to properly fill out the form was a “fatal flaw” and they could not accept his petition.

The decision leaves as the only Democrat running for the seat, Mark A. MacNealy.

The Republican primary will include U.S, Rep. Mike Turner, R-Centerville facing Rene Oberer of Dayton and David Finke of Springboro.

via Election board rejects Esrati petition for congressional seat.

Yet, before they got to my issue- the BOE allowed “Joe Ellis” on the ballot with a form improperly filled out- saying there was “no deception of the voter.” They also said had I come in and got the petitions from them- they would have made sure this didn’t happen (tell that to the majority of candidates who got rejected from the Dayton City Commission Race- the BOE didn’t even bat .500).

I’m not going to beat Mike Turner in his gerrymanded district, with his huge war chest. But, I can guarantee that I could put together a PDF solution that would preclude these kinds of problems from happening again- and would comply with Federal requirements for ADA accessibility as well.

And, if you think the Secretary of State’s office was of any help, dream on. Instead of returning my call yesterday, they call the Board of Elections instead- that’s service for you.

The appeal must be filed in the courts, I’ll have to check if this is an issue for Federal Court since it’s a Federal office. Then again, it’s a State form- so who knows. Just remember, all the Constitution says is you have to be a citizen and 25 years of age.

How far away from the Constitution we’ve moved.

I’ve included the recording of the meeting- up to my part:

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6 Responses

  1. jstults February 23, 2010 / 7:32 pm
    Who is the guy that told you to go to the library?  What a tool; must not have internet access yet.  They might get you on this one (emphasis added):

    …the declaration of candidacy so signed shall be copied on each other separate petition paper before the signature of electors are placed on it.
    3513.09 Candidate’s Signature

    It would have been a lot easier to just cite the relevant section of the law rather than cast dispersions about voter fraud.  Unfortunately, shoe clerks rule the world, and they get testy when you challenge them.

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  2. David Esrati February 23, 2010 / 8:32 pm

    @jstults that would be an assistant county prosecutor name Wisman.

    It was signed before the signatures were placed on it- I just put the date of turn-in as the declaration date- since I can’t declare until I have 50 signatures.

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  3. Steve Brack February 23, 2010 / 11:55 pm
    Sorry to hear about your error, David, and the opportunity it’s going to cost you. However, in 2 years, you’ll have another chance, and it’ll be in a more representative district. So far, I can’t see myself voting for you, but I’d be glad to sign your petition. I have confidence in your ability to keep people honest.
    If http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/dayton-news/election-board-rejects-esrati-petition-for-congressional-primary-563430.html?cxtype=rss_local-news the DDN report is accurate, the form says in capital letters that “The candidate must fill in, sign and date this declaration before petitions are circulated.” It sounds like at least one of those items wasn’t filled in until after the petition had been circulated,  so it sounds like they’re right about the petitions being flawed.
    The board of election system is geared toward the two-party system, with all board members being party-affiliated, and ties broken by the Secretary of State.
    The thing to remember is that if you want to win, you have to win at their game.

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  4. Shortwest Rick February 25, 2010 / 1:06 am
    Actually David, tonight while I was sniping at some of the half baked comments on DDN it occurred to me that the old adage of working within the system to make change to the system may no longer be relevant, that in order to hold elected office you would have to give up a part of yourself that we don’t necessarily want to see stifled.

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  5. Bruce Kettelle March 1, 2010 / 12:11 pm
    In case you are wondering, the deadline to register as a write in candidate is March 3.

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