SIDNEY — The city of Sidney may have a new mayor in January.
The petition submitted by Mike Barhorst, 604 N. West St., was rejected by the Shelby County Board of Elections during its Monday morning certification meeting. Barhorst was running for a City of Sidney at-large council seat. Sidney City Charter calls for the members of council to select who the mayor of the city will be.
“Due to an inadvertent discrepancy based on my interpretation of Ohio law, the Shelby County Board of Elections did not certify my petition,” said Barhorst. “I am in the process of exploring legal options at this time.”
Eight petitions for the November general election were reviewed by board due to inconsistent information submitted. The petition filed by Fort Loramie Mayor Phil Eilerman was also rejected by the board.
Barhorst’s petition was rejected because “the Circulator Statement indicated the number of signatures witnessed but contained more signatures appearing on the petition … A circulator cannot witness fewer signatures than what appears on the petition.”
The Circulator Statement, explained Chris Gibbs, chairman of the Shelby County Board of Elections, is where the petition circulator affirms they have witnessed each and every signature affixed to the petition and that to the best of their ability each signatory was in fact the person they purported to be and eligible to sign the petition. The circulator must also certify the number of signatures affixed on this statement. The circulator may or may not be the candidate.
Because of the difference, it left Barhorst without enough valid signatures as required by the City of Sidney Charter. The city’s charter requires not less than 100 valid signatures on the petition for people running for the at-large seat.
A second candidate’s petition, also running for a Sidney City Council at-large seat was also rejected. The petition filed by Dock Foy, 2745 Kristy Way, didn’t have the required number of valid signatures as required by the Ohio Revised Code and city of Sidney Charter.
There are three at-large seats on the November ballot. With the disqualification of Barhorst and Foy, there are only three candidates whose petitions were approved: Incumbents Janet Born and Rufus Sims and newcomer Joseph S. Ratermann.
According to Gibbs, Ohio Revised Code 3513.041 states a candidate whose petition has been rejected cannot file as a write-in candidate for the same office in the same election.
Incumbent Fort Loramie Mayor Phil Eilerman, 51 Elm St., Fort Loramie, also saw his petition rejected by the board. The board said the petition was rejected because the “Candidacy Statement was dated after some or all of the qualified electors signed the petition.”
Jason Foster’s petition also was rejected for the same reason as Eilerman’s. Foster is an incumbent on the Hardin-Houston Local Schools Board of Education. Two seats are up for election and Foster, 3453 Millcreek Road, Sidney, incumbent Joel Knouff and newcomer Jason Shaffer had all filed petitions for the seats. Knouff and Shaffer are the only ones who will appear on the ballot unless a write-in candidate files the necessary paperwork.
The board also rejected the petition of Adam Schmiessing, 78 S. Main St., Fort Loramie, who was running for re-election for Fort Loramie Village Council. His petition was rejected because it “did not have the Circulator Statement or the number of signatures witness as required by the Ohio Revised Code.”
Incumbent Debra Middleton, 19860 Sidney Plattsville Road, Sidney, who is the fiscal officer for Green Township, also saw her petition received because it “did not have the Circulator Statement or the number of signatures witness as required by the Ohio Revised Code.”
Kathryn Koester, 1231 N. Main St., who submitted her petition for Sidney City Schools Board of Education, also saw her petition rejected. The board said the petition “did not contain the number of valid signatures as required by the Ohio Revised Code.”
A total of 87 petitions were received for the Nov. 3 election and seven of them were rejected. The eighth petition, filed by Eric Voress, 1801 Bulle Road, Sidney, didn’t indicate “Shelby County” on the statement of candidacy. Because Voress’s address was correct, along with the zip code, appeared on the petition, the board voted to approve the petition. He is the incumbent fiscal officer for Orange Township.
Letters were sent to each candidate whose petition was rejected stating the reason why it was denied.
August 5 was the deadline for petitions of candidates in nonpartisan races to be filed with the Shelby County Road of Elections. Write in candidates must file declarations of intent by Aug. 24.
The deadline for unregistered voters to register with the Board of Election for the Nov. 3 election is Oct. 5.
Voters can request absentee ballots now. Requested absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 election will begin to be mailed on Oct. 6
Voters may vote absentee for the Nov. 3 election at the Board of Elections office beginning Oct. 6.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822; follow her on Twitter @MelSpeicherSDN. Follow the SDN on Facebook, www.facebook.com/SidneyDailyNews.