- Esrati - https://esrati.com -

When a rock star’s autograph ain’t worth a damn

Kelley Deal. [1] You signed a petition to put me on the ballot. The board of elections had problems with your penmanship.

Doesn’t matter if you are a rock star, who has played around the world and in front of crowds of thousands- in your hometown, they don’t know who you are.

And just like that- your signature was relegated to the Dumpster. Same for my next-door neighbor Bridgette, and Sam around the corner. People I know- and know they vote, were ignored.

If you think that’s borked, you’re not alone. Imagine Larry Ealy who turned in  800 signatures only to have 283 valid. Or Miss Williams-Minus, who only collected 280 or so- not enough to reach the required number- but thought enough of the voters signatures to pay the $45 filing fee and turned them in. She wanted their voices on record.

Once again, the Dayton City Charter, gets to pick and choose what passes for legal. I had to sign in front of a Notary Public that I witnesses the people sign- but, that’s not enough. Nope- for Dayton City Commission you need 500 bona fide signatures- to be collected in January and February for a primary, that we haven’t held in 18 years.

We’ve rejected more petitions than we’ve accepted- we have no path to prove that yes, in fact- that was Ms. Deal’s wishes- and, we can’t run as a write in candidate either.

Running for Congress- you only need 50 signatures, and no Notary. Yes, the Dayton City Commission is that important.

Even though federal election law keeps over 100,000 people on the rolls, the local laws, call for 25% of that number to mount a recall. Once in power- always in power.

If you don’t turn in enough signatures for a statewide issues, you are given a grace period to get more- but not for Dayton City Commission.

Yes, William Pace is on the ballot, turning in 1,100 plus signatures to get 700 odd good. Mr. Manovich, with 619, got 513 good ones (including 120 I collected) and will be on the ballot. Mr. Joseph and Mr. Lovelace had their friends in high places collecting for them. Petitions were circulated by Idotha Bootsie Neal, Willis Blackshear, Nan Whaley, Mr. Nan Whaley, and other party faithful. If I could get access to the addresses of city employees- I can almost guarantee some of these signatures were collected at work, on city property- but that’s another case.

I made a short speech at the BOE meeting- I ran a recording. It’s not the best for the beginning where they award contracts, but- if you listen, you can hear my statement, (I start around 9:23) and then listen to the board play graphologist on 6 of my signatures that they thought might be of adequate penmanship.

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Tojuan Minus


I will respond to you in private.  But briefly, I turned in my signatures for my children.  I reared them with the notion that you finish what you start.  For me to go through this process for the second time and not turn them would have been sending the wrong message to my children.  I learned more this time around than I did the first time when I submitted almost 700 signatures.

I will be better prepared next time. 

Ryan Gelatin

Hopefully, this isn’t the Last Splash for David Esrati.


On the bright side, we’re spared the expense of a primary election (mute sarcasm).
On the practical side–do the petition forms not ask for a printed name as well as a signature?  If not, then the BOE ought to be thrown out on their collective incompetent ears.  I do not like paying for such rank incompetence.

Shortwest Rick

City of Dayton Charter Article II Section 7 (B) says ‘Each signer of a petition shall sign his name in ink or indelible pencil, and shall place on the petition after his name his place of residence by street and number.’

Bill Daniels (pizzabill)

Please clarify something regarding the scrutiny of signatures on petitions:  who at the Board Of Elections is in charge of examining a petition to determine if a signature is “correct”, and what expertise do they need to have to obtain the examining job?  Are people appointed or hired to do this job?  Do we have handwriting “experts” examining signatures, or is the arbitrary choice of some arbitrary appointee to look at a signature and say it does not count?  If so, WOW!  What a crappy process.  Please enlighten me as to how our system works regarding this examination of signatures.
And come to think of it, why would we need handwriting “experts” at every single local government level to scrutinize every single signature on every single petition?  Isn’t the threat of prosecution for using fraudulent signatures enough of a deterrent to satisfy society?  And you’re absolutely correct in asking why the hurdle is so much higher here than even at the federal level for numbers of signatures needed for petitions.  It all seems absurd to the point of making a mockery of citizen involvement.


All Board of Elections employees are appointed by either the democrat or republican party, there are no standards for who they hire. Prior to the director hiring a convicted rapist they never required anyone fill out an application, provide valid ID, or have a background check. You can imagine the type of people that have worked there in the past and work there today. You may get lucky and have someone check your petitions that was appointed but also happens to be a wonderful public servant that does a great job and my understanding is there are many good people like that employed there who are embarrassed about what goes on in their workplace. The good employees are afraid to say anything because they will lose their jobs instantly.

You may also get the sister of a former democrat state representative that is totally incompetent and stated in the office that “the only white person I care about is the one that signs my check”. You may get a sex offender or someone with a rich criminal history checking ballots. These are the types of people the director and deputy director are paid 100K a year to work a 35 hour week to hire and protect there. Nothing will ever change until both parties agree to clean house. The only way that is ever going to happen is if the public demands it from our elected officials.


I worked at the board of elections for a few years in the late 90’s.  The guy that’s the director now used to take a county van during work hours to pick up liquor and food etc to bring to the democrat fundraiser called the “jackass classic”.  He was in charge of the fundraiser which is why they let him get away with stealing from the taxpayer.  What they do with petitions is the least of our worries!

Teresa Lea

@truddick the crazy thing is that the petition actually says “Name” but requires a signature!


The majority of the everyday board of elections employees are great people that work hard, do a great job, and are honest. The problem is the directors and the 2 or 3 employee allies they each have in the office. David should make sure he files a formal complaint to secretary of state husted based on what has been posted in the blog about the board of elections. The secretary of state has investigated this office at least two separate times in the last 15 years.


Any Troglodyle can fill out a petition with the proper signatures. Just use a reg. voter list and go door to door. Ask if they are the person on the vorter list. Then you can blow smoke up their ass the same time  on how your gonna change the world. It a simple process that can easily be done. Why unexperianced candidates continue to hand in bad signitures is a mistery. Maybe they don’t deserve to be on the ballot. Hire one of the ex Board of Elections employee’s. You will never have a problem with your petitions again.