Voter Claims Ballot Signing Rule Violates Federal Rights
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 30, 2005
CHARDON, OHIO--A Geauga County man claimed Monday that election officials discriminated against him by not allowing his wife to sign an election petition on his behalf.
Jeff Sollars, 43, has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Sollars told the Associated Press that he would challenge the county Board of Elections' decision to invalidate a petition for a local school board candidate which included Sollars' name, but was signed by his wife, Julie.
The decision left candidate Bill Swan short of enough signatures to qualify for the November election.
County and state officials argue that they are just following state law.
"There is no gray area," said Arch Kimbrew, director of the Geauga County Board of Elections.
Michael Kirkman, legal director of the Ohio Legal Rights Service, said state law might violate federal law.
"Under federal law, there's a presumption of correctness to his choice," Kirkman said. "And he chose to have her sign."
"Man says Ohio elections law discriminates against disabled" (Associated Press)