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HomenewsHow write-in candidacies work in Ohio, with 2 on local ballots in...

How write-in candidacies work in Ohio, with 2 on local ballots in March

If a write-in option exists for a race, a line will appear under the party candidates’ names. Voters wanting to cast a write-in option have to fill in the bubble (or press the box, for touchscreen voting at polling locations) next to the blank space.

Then voters have to write out the name of the candidate they are voting for. Exact spelling is not required in Ohio for the vote to count, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.

For Montgomery County, write-in options will appear on the ballot for two Statehouse races, something Montgomery County Board of Elections candidate services deputy manager Nick Brusky said isn’t typical.

“Write-in candidacies are not common for General Assembly races, and usually only occur when one party has no candidates who file valid petitions for an office,” he said.

Dion Green, a survivor of the Oregon District mass shooting and advocate against gun violence, seeks to gain the Democratic nomination to race against Republican incumbent Phil Plummer, of Butler Twp., for his Ohio House District 39 seat.

Butler County resident Logan Turner is running as a write-in for the 40th district of the Ohio House, currently held I know by State Rep. Rodney Creech, of West Alexandria He is seeking the Democratic nomination while another Democratic candidate, Bobbie Arnold, will already be on the ballot.

Arnold’s petitions were certified by the Montgomery County Board of Elections on Jan. 2.

Although Montgomery County’s write-in candidates for March are both seeking Democratic nominations for their races in the general election this fall, their paths toward that goal will look a little different, according to the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

For Green, at least 50 valid votes in March are necessary under Ohio law to have his name printed on November ballots.

“If a write-in candidate in a partisan primary receives 50 or more votes, and they are unopposed, then they will become the nominee of the party for that particular office and will appear on the ballot in the General Election,” said Brusky.

Primary contests are considered nominations for write-in candidates, and the nominees must receive the same number of write-in votes that they would be required to have on a petition, Brusky said.

Green had filed a traditional candidate’s petition to run as a Democrat for Plummer’s seat, but he withdrew it before the petition could be certified by the election board.

Green said this was because election board workers flagged him for multiple signatures that were collected outside of the 39th district, he told Dayton Daily News.

If his petition’s certification were to be rejected by the election board, he would be barred from racing for the 39th district seat this year.

Green said he hopes people consider him as a write-in option.

“I want excitement to build from this for November,” he said.

Plummer said his opponent’s change to a write-in candidacy does not change how he’s operating his campaign.

“We’re gearing up for a race,” Plummer said. “We’re doing all the preliminary stuff: fundraising and meetings, going to events. What we do every day of our lives.”

But for Turner, who is racing against a Democratic candidate in the March party primary, he will need to receive more write-in votes than Arnold to advance to the November election.

The newspaper could not connect with Turner to ask about his candidacy. The Butler County Democratic Party said they have not had contact with Turner.

The deadline to register to vote for the March 19 primary is Feb. 20, with early voting beginning the next day.

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