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Election officials won't count printed names for Akron school board member who didn't qualify for ballot

By admin Published: September 6, 2011

Akron school board member Amy Reeves Grom could not persuade the Summit County Board of Elections on Monday morning to count voters who printed their names on her ballot petitions instead of signing them in cursive.

Grom, who was running for a second term, fell 13 valid signatures short on her petitions to run for a second term in November.

She met Friday with board officials, who gave her hope that it would reconsider eight signatures.

Grom then spent her Labor Day weekend with a notary public getting affidavits from those eight voters and six more, hoping to clear the 300-signature requirement.

She pleaded her case at the board's Monday meeting, but the board told her that Ohio law is clear that voters generally must sign petitions with the cursive signature they used on their voter registration cards.

Even if the board decided the eight questionable signatures in her favor, she still would have been five signatures short. She said she had at least five supporters who printed their names instead of writing them.

Two of those voters accompanied her to the meeting

''I did print. I made a mistake,'' Julie Pryseski told the board. ''But every bit of me wanted her on that ballot.''

Stephen Fassnacht also signed an affidavit affirming that he was who he said he was and he wanted Grom on the ballot. He said he printed his name because his cursive isn't legible and he wanted officials to be able to read his name.

''Unfortunately we don't have any latitude,'' said board Chairman Timothy N. Gorbach. ''There are some rules that are rules that you just can't tiptoe around and that's one of them. It's a shame.''

The board also approved six write-in candidates for Akron school board: Patrick L. Bravo, Robert Roe Fox, John David Goode, Gary Hagen, Belinda J. Hinton and Cheryl Jean Shavers.

At least one of those six is guaranteed a seat because three seats are open and only two candidates' names will appear on the ballot: the Rev. Curtis T. Walker Sr., who is the incumbent board president, and challenger Tim Miller.

Ohio law does not allow Grom to run as a write-in candidate for this election.

The board also certified all the candidates for Hudson city government and write-in candidates for Boston Heights council, Lakemore council, Peninsula council and the Twin-Keystone Water District.

John Higgins can be reached at 330-996-3792 or jhiggins@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the education blog at http://education.ohio.com/.

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