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Three candidates out of race

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Three out of the seven candidates who filed to run for seats on Village Council are no longer in the race, having been found ineligible due to problems with their petitions. The ruling that Adam Abraham, Shane Creepingbear and Talis X (Gage) are not eligible was made when the Greene County Board of Elections met on Monday, Aug. 17, to review the petitions that were due Aug. 5.

It was the first attempt to win a Council spot for Abraham, an AmeriCorps/VISTA employee of Home, Inc. and Talis X, a local landscaper and activist. It was the second attempt for Creepingbear.

Still in the race are incumbents Marianne MacQueen and Gerald Simms, former Council President Judith Hempfling and Chrissy Cruz, a member of Human Relations Commission who also ran for Council two years ago.

In an interview on Tuesday, Board of Elections Director Llyn McCoy said the problems that made the Yellow Springs candidates ineligible varied. Two sections of the petition that require the candidate’s signature, located on the back of the petition, were left blank on Abraham’s petition and therefore the petition is invalid, she said. Asked if Board of Elections employees look over petitions to make sure they’re complete when candidates turn them in, McCoy said that Secretary of State Jon Husted has ruled that employees are not allowed to do so. The ruling, new since Husted took office, states that the candidates themselves are responsible for filling out petitions correctly and that help from employees might be given unevenly, therefore rendering the election process unfair. However, all candidates are given written instructions when they take out petitions, she said.

Creepingbear was deemed ineligible to run because he used the wrong petition form, according to McCoy. The petition form he used, which he probably accessed online, is one published by the state that is valid in most municipalities but not in Yellow Springs, because the village is a home rule community that requires a different form. The appropriate petition is available at the Board of Elections office, she said.

However, according to McCoy, even if Creepingbear had used the appropriate form, he would have been eliminated for not having a sufficient number of signatures of registered voters — 31 signatures, or 1 percent of the electorate, are required. While Creepingbear’s petition had 35 signatures, nine were deemed invalid for several reasons, including the signers not being registered voters, living at addresses that didn’t match their voter registration or not using their legal signature, which must match their voter registration.

An insufficient number of signatures rendered Talis X out of the Council race, according to McCoy. While his petition included 50 signatures, only 27 were valid signatures of registered voters. Of those that weren’t deemed valid, most were ineligible because they were printed rather than signed, and several signers didn’t live within Village limits.

In response to the Board of Elections decision, Abraham said he believed he had followed directions “to a T.” While he was looking forward to running, he said that “there’s still strong candidates on the ticket and I’m just happy to be part of the community.”

Creepingbear could not be reached for comment, and Talis X declined to comment.


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