Delaware County Board of Elections sued over failed protest effort


A would-be candidate who was left off the ballot has asked the state’s highest court to force the Delaware County Board of Elections to place his name back on the ballot.

Doug Crowl, who filed to run for a seat on the Porter Township Board of Trustees, said in a filing with the Ohio Supreme Court that the Delaware County Board of Elections “abused its discretion by not considering the evidence and testimony presented” in a protest hearing earlier this month.

Crowl collected 28 signatures on a petition for his candidacy. He needed just 25 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

However, the board invalidated eight of the signatures as “non-genuine” because the signatures did not match voter registration records.

Crowl, who serves as the road superintendent in Kingston Township, filed a protest of the decision. At the hearing, he presented sworn affidavits from each of the eight individuals whose signatures were in question.

Despite that, the four-member board ultimately voted 3-1 to deny Crowl’s protest.

The board “had a legal obligation and duty once they convened the protest hearing to actually consider the evidence and testimony presented in said hearing when making their final determination. It is obvious they did not,” Crowl writes in the court filing.

Steve Cuckler, chairman of the board of elections, did not comment on the pending suit, but he previously stated: “The law and our rules require that petition signatures match the voters’ signatures on file with the board of elections. They have to match whatever the voter has on file with us so that we can verify that the voter actually signed this petition.”

In addition to asking the court to force the board to place his name on the ballot, Crowl also asked for attorney fees in the case.

The board of elections has until Monday to respond.

Incumbent Trustee Ed Snodgrass is running for re-election in Porter Township. Crowl was his sole opponent.

By Dustin Ensinger

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Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.

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