The Board of Elections stands between the people and the primary. Instead of letting the people decide who should advance to a general election, the sacred law says you must turn in 500 “valid signatures” of registered Dayton voters.
It’s the LAW. So, signatures that they can’t read- or aren’t close enough to a signature on file- get dismissed. Never mind the purpose of the process- to give the people a choice, it’s about the board of elections following the rules.
Since 2001, one third of candidates have been dismissed. The average correct number of signatures turned in: a pathetic 60%. And, even if you know you have a valid signature, that the BOE disqualifies- there is no process for amending or correcting- it’s all up to the graphologists at the BOE.
The funny thing is- the wishes of the 500 people can be absolutely ignored due to a strange clause in the charter. A group of five “nominating committee” members (who don’t even have to sign a petition they are on) gets to choose who should be on the ballot if the candidate dies or withdraws.
Yep, Jesus Christ could circulate a petition, get 500 signatures, get on the ballot- then withdraw and his nominating committee- five people- could choose to put Lucifer on the ballot and the voters could do nothing.
Note- if only two candidates had passed the hurdle- the voters won’t even be able to recall Lucifer from his ill-gotten seat, because the standard is to collect 25% of the “registered voters’ ” signatures- which is 25,000 plus 40%- or 35,000 signatures. Considering we only had 37,000 people vote in the general- and that it takes approximately one hour to collect 10 valid signatures, well, you get the picture.
This is just one more reason, the charter needs to be challenged in court, struck down as unconstitutional (the right to petition government is part of the First Amendment) and the simpler Ohio Revised Code should be applied (it has no “nominating committee” or requirement of a Notary Public signing off on the circulators’ signature).
As to the supposed reason for the 500 signature threshold- to keep “lesser qualified” candidates from the ballot- to avoid confusion- that reasoning has already been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court after being tested in California. Read about the issues of Ballot Access on Wikipedia.
The only people who benefit by not having a primary are those already in power. Those who have the power to put changes to the charter on the ballot with a mere three votes [corrected]- but haven’t.
It is for this reason- that I’m working on a lawsuit to throw out the provisions of the Dayton Charter- and put a constitutionally legal set of laws in place- those of the Ohio Revised Code.
While most of you don’t think about your constitutional rights- I do. I’ve fought the city before for your right to speak at commission meetings (and won in 5 courts) and am now doing it again.
Contributions to the legal fund would be appreciated: http://electesrati.com/index.php?option=com_civicrm&task=civicrm/contribute/transact&reset=1&id=5&widgetID=1
Or, you can just risk having Lucifer as your next commissioner.