Montgomery County Board of Elections places Esrati on May ballot, says no to Jo Love

After much deliberation, a three person BOE voted to place David Esrati on the May 2nd ballot, after he supplied enough notarized affidavit’s to bring into question the validity of the petition language and the un-chartered rules missing from the Dayton Charter.

Turns out, not only are ward and precinct unnecessary, for a valid signature, so is the date, which is surprising considering they require a notary to validate the petition circulator signature.

In my presentation I showed them a revised petition form that would eliminate much of the confusion about “duplicate signatures” which is caused by both the ridiculous threshold of 500 signatures (you only need 50 for US Congress) and the practice of counting all signatures by turn in date- even those over the 500 threshold required.

Since the Charter doesn’t talk about the process for rectifying duplicates, and the candidates have no way of ascertaining if voters have signed more than 2 petitions, and that the petition doesn’t use clear language to spell out how many petitions a voter can sign, they accepted the fact that I’d turned in over 500 legitimate voter signatures where voters wanted to have a choice.

The Board of Elections should run elections, not be in the selection of candidate business.

Candidate Jo Love did not submit any signed affidavits, but made a deep dive into the Ohio Revised code and found lots of conflicting law, which should override directives by the city or the Secretary of State, including one saying that there is no need to count signatures after the threshold has been reached.

Another says that the decision on who should be on the ballot should be settled by 60 days before the election- and we’re well past that.

The sad fact is that the 7 candidates turned in 6852 total signatures, and that the voter turnout may not be much more than twice that if we are lucky in the primary. This whole process should be run by Ranked Choice voting in November and skip the expense of a primary.

Love left the meeting saying she plans to go to court. The clock is already ticking, due to delays in production of documents in this knitpicking signature experiment.

The motion to put Esrati on the ballot was made by former Judge Erik Blaine and at first was opposed by Judge Gorman and Tom Routsong. BOE Chair, Rhine McLin was not in attendance and no mention was made of why, or excusing her. Routsong, after listening to Blaines questions, including why the City Petition wasn’t available online, switched over and Gorman voted with the majority, although later in closing comments said she believed they had opened a can of worms.

The most relevant question is why does this petition have such a ridiculous fail rate and such a high bar.

If elected to the Dayton City Commission one of the first things I’ll do is create a charter amendment to be voted on in the May primary of 2024 revising the requirement to a much lower number, and using the well designed state form for signatures. It will not have any restriction on the number of petitions a voter can sign. I will also move forward on ranked choice voting, eliminating the primary altogether.

At this point, voters could now select 4 of the 6 candidates on the ballot that could in fact turn the incumbents, Matt Joseph and Chris Shaw into lame ducks. The primary allows you to vote for 2 of 6. The other candidates are Valerie Duncan, Jordan Wortham, Marcus Bedinger, and David Esrati.

I urge you to think before you vote.

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