Mark Ferrara has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to order the Trumbull County Board of Elections to place his name on the ballot of the Nov. 2 general election for Brookfield Trustee.
The board of elections rejected his election petitions because of a clerical error, he said. He submitted two petitions and on one of them he wrote that he had 16 signatures when there were actually 17. He called the error an “inadvertent undercount.”
The board invalidated that petition in its entirety and credited him for only 16 signatures on the other petition when he needed 25. If both petitions had been accepted, he would have had 32 valid signatures, he said.
The board also denied his request for reconsideration, he said.
“This Court has determined that petitions must include the number of signatures to prevent fraud,” he said in his complaint to the Supreme Court. However, state law “does not expressly mandate a correct signature total,” and a previous ruling “implies that arithmetic error will be tolerated, but only if the error does not promote fraud.”
“There was no evidence of fraud in this case,” Ferrara said.
State law “does not require that an entire part petition be invalidated if the number of signatures listed is less than the total number of signatures,” he said.
Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor has ordered a series of briefs and evidence documents to be filed by Sept. 3, starting with the board of election’s answer to the complaint due Aug. 27.
Ferrara, who lives at 999 Taylor St. and is a retired Pennsylvania teacher and school administrator, ran unsuccessfully for the Brookfield Board of Education two years ago.