Nine candidates kept off ballot

LISBON — Nine candidates across the county and one liquor permit option petition were found invalid and will not be on a full slate making up the November general election ballot.

The county Board of Elections met Friday and voted the liquor permit option for the sale of beer at Pizza Hut on St. Clair Avenue, East Liverpool, did not have enough valid signatures.

Director Kim Fusco said those who circulated the petition turned in 190 signatures and 134 were required. However, many of the signatures were found invalid, including 28 who only printed their name without a signature and 12 people who signed but are not registered voters. Fusco said the petitions were triple checked, but only 130 valid signatures could be found.

Some township, village and school board races will have fewer candidates as well. Disqualified for not having the required amount of valid signatures were Jesse Cain, who was challenging for the Wayne Township fiscal officer position; Rick Dyke, who was running for Middleton Township trustee; Paul C. Taylor, a current member of the county Educational Service Center who was seeking re-election; and Lori Wilson, who was seeking a seat on the Salem school board.

Additionally, five candidates were found invalid due to having the statement of candidacy signed and dated after they circulated the petition: Carolyn Beverly, the Liverpool Township fiscal officer; Jennifer Coletta, seeking a seat on the Salem school board; Jay A. Cole, a current member of the Southern Local school board seeking re-election; Nick Sanor, a Knox Township trustee seeking re-election; and Douglas Simpson, a current East Palestine councilmen, who was seeking the currently open mayor’s position.

The board of elections approved 114 non-partisan candidates for various positions throughout the county. Additionally, the board approved the appearance on the ballot of local liquor option petitions for Coaches Burger Bar, St. Clair Township, Calcutta; Full Stop Marathon, East Liverpool; Riverside Roadhouse, Wellsville; and Timberlanes LTD, doing business as Boneshakers and Patio, Salem.

Two initiative petitions filed on behalf of the citizens of East Liverpool against the use of traffic cameras were both approved to appear on the ballot. One was the initial petition filed by the group in 2017 and the other was a more recent attempt. The traffic camera petitions also remain an issue in the courts, but the board of elections determined there are enough valid signatures.

Although a school levy for Salem city schools was approved for the ballot, the board of elections is requiring the school district to make a slight change to the wording after it determined what was submitted has the wrong year for the collection of the tax to start. The submitted petition said 2019; board members believe it should read 2020.

The board also discussed a couple changes to polling places for the upcoming general election. At the request of the Salem schools, the 4A precinct polling place at Southeast Elementary will be moving to the Damascus Friends Church at 1300 Franklin Ave., which is already the polling place for those in precinct 2B. The school district was reportedly concerned about the safety of students with people entering the elementary school to vote.

Also, the Perry Township Southeast precinct on Depot Road, which needed to be moved for the safety of poll workers due to exhaust fumes when township trucks would be started, potentially will be moved to the Church at the Center, 1785 South Lincoln Avenue, Salem.

One member of the board of elections, Larry Bowersock, asked Fusco to look into whether it could be a potential conflict to have the polling place located there because of the involvement in that church by state Rep. Tim Ginter.