Elections board disqualifies three candidates from fall ballot

2 candidates did not have enough valid signatures

By David Skolnick



The Mahoning County Board of Elections disqualified three candidates – including two for not having enough valid signatures – from the Nov. 5 ballot.

The board met Tuesday to certify the nominating petitions of candidates for various nonpartisan positions, including township trustee and fiscal officer, school board member as well as 14 tax issues, two Sebring charter amendments and 18 liquor options.

The candidates who submitted nominating petitions who were disqualified by the board were:

Alice Marshall for the Youngstown school board.

Marshall, of Hopkins Road submitted nominating petitions with 183 signatures. She needed at least 150 of them to be valid, but a review by board employees determined only 134 were valid.

With Marshall out, that leaves seven candidates – including incumbents Dario Hunter and Brenda Kimble – running for three seats. Of the seven, six will have their names on the ballot with Nia Simms running as a write-in. The write-in deadline is Aug. 26.

Zach Martin and Stacey Aldridge for the West Branch school board.

Martin, of Apple Blossom Trail in Beloit, was disqualified for not having enough valid signatures, while Aldridge, of Wildwood Drive in Beloit, wasn’t certified because of a problem with her petitions.

Martin turned in petitions with 33 signatures, needing 25 of them to be valid to be certified to the ballot. Board employees found 22 valid signatures.

Martin, who attended the board meeting, said he collected fewer signatures than he wanted to because he decided to run at the “last minute,” when he learned the school board was putting a 0.5-percent, three-year income tax to raise $850,000 annually back on the ballot after voters rejected it in November 2018 and this past May.

Aldridge wasn’t certified because she failed to sign and date the declaration of candidacy on her nominating petitions before obtaining signatures.

That’s considered “a fatal flaw” under state elections law, said Mark Munroe, elections board chairman.

With Martin and Aldridge disqualified, there are three candidates – including incumbent Mikki Kanagy – running for two seats in the fall.

The board also considered removing Denise Joseph as a Canfield Township fiscal officer candidate after board employees pointed out she put “Mahoning” instead of “Canfield” as her home township in her statement of candidacy. She had the correct township on another part of the nominating petitions.

Munroe said, “This was a close call. The standard is substantial compliance. I’d allow it.”

The other elections board members agreed and voted 4-0 to certify Joseph to the ballot.

Joseph, of Deer Spring Run, is the only candidate for Canfield fiscal officer.