Court of Appeals smacks down William Pace

In a ten-page decision, the Montgomery County Court of Appeals ruled that based on a 1941 decision, that technicalities take precedent over the will of 650+ registered voters on placing Mr. William Pace on the Dayton City Commission ballot. Voters aren’t supposed to make decisions on who advances to the general election in Montgomery County- the Board of Elections is.

This is a travesty of the Voting Rights Act and makes a mockery of our system of “Free” elections. There are other issues- still unresolved. What about the rights of the nominating committee? Or the fact that if the Board of Elections found the petition insufficient, they were supposed to return it to Mr. Pace. It’s obvious, that they found it insufficient days before his deadline for submitting a signature- and instead, the Board of Elections schemed to make it impossible for Mr. Pace to remedy the one signature issue.

Here is the complete decision as a PDF: Pace Decision 4-2-13

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8 Responses

  1. Civil Servants Are People, Too April 3, 2013 / 1:01 am
    Although you raise some very interesting and seemingly important questions, the law is built on technicalities and precedents.   I think they reached the correct conclusion on the narrow merits of the case.  If the law requires a signature, and he failed to provide that signature, then that much of it is clear.
    If there is wrongdoing on the part of the Board of Elections, then those matters should be investigated fully.
  2. David Esrati April 3, 2013 / 8:59 am

    @CSAPT- glad to know you support inspector Gotcha’s job at the Board of Elections and put technicalities of a grossly deficient form ahead of the will of the people.

    I guess you also believe that the rules about open, public meetings- the Sunshine Laws, are to be ignored as well. When pressed for an agenda the day of the meeting, which was to be held at a non-standard time, after closing of the BOE, the Director of the BOE refused. The petition clearly says if the petitions are found insufficient, they shall be returned. Mr. Harsmand found them insufficient days earlier. There is no question that the BOE was working against the will of the people, and that a non-partisan primary, which is the peoples opportunity to narrow the candidates is being subverted by partisan political appointees.

  3. Hall April 3, 2013 / 9:58 am
    “It’s obvious, that they found it insufficient days before his deadline…” and “Mr. Harsmand found them insufficient days earlier”
    How do you know this ?
  4. Civil Servants Are People, Too April 4, 2013 / 1:30 am
    I understand your point; that you believe the Board acted in error.   I agree the matter does seem very questionable.   I am absolutely agreeing with you on that point.
    However, this was not a case about punishing a wayward official.   The merits of the case were whether or not the candidate satisfied the ballot criteria.   He did not.    The court’s decision lays out the legal basis for the decision very clearly.   (Thank you for posting the document, by the way)   Case closed.  NOW you can go after the allegedly wayward administrator(s).   Let that charge stand on it’s own merits.
    So, when it comes to elections I do not agree with the notion that the Board and/or the Court should simply ignore the candidate’s failure and start making exceptions with regard to the ballot.    Just look at Bush v. Gore and tell me the courts should decide elections.
    Bottom line, if the court ruled differently they would be just as guilty as the BOE (allegedly).
    I can’t think of any situation where I may be responsible for signing a legal document, fail to do so, and then just say “OOPS” and get a free pass to go back in time.    
  5. David Esrati April 4, 2013 / 9:19 am

    @CSAPT- the problem is that the Appeals court used a 1941 Ohio decision- instead of looking at much newer decisions at the federal level that say if in doubt- err to the side of the voters.

    The thing you learn about the courts- you have to dance precisely, or they kick you off the dance floor. Arguments about other issues weren’t considered. Wait and see.

    This BOE rejects more candidates than ones of 20 years ago- there is a reason for that.

    Let’s wait and see. In the mean time, the voters wishes are being ignored.

  6. Dr. Funkenstein April 4, 2013 / 11:39 am
    If you can ever convince the ddn to run a decent exposure piece on the boe maybe some insiders would talk about what they know about the shady workings of the boe.  The current director is over the top as far as what he has got a way with compared to any directors in the past.  He is fully backed by karl keith and mark owens, it runs deep.  There is enough dirt to run many articles as you know David.

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