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State ex rel. Yeager v. Richland County Board of Elections

Supreme Court of Ohio

September 9, 2013

The State ex rel. Yeager
v.
Richland County Board of Elections, et al.

Submitted September 3, 2013

In Mandamus.

The Law Firm of Curt C. Hartman and Curt C. Hartman; and Finney, Stagnaro, Saba & Patterson Co., L.P.A., and Christopher P. Finney, for relator.

Isaac, Wiles, Burkholder & Teetor, L.L.C., J. Stephen Teetor, and Craig R. Mayton, for respondents.

Per Curiam.

(¶ 1} This is an expedited election action by relator, Carl H. Yeager Jr., for a writ of mandamus to compel respondents, the Richland County Board of Elections and its members ("the board"), to place his name on the November 5, 2013 ballot as the Republican Party candidate for the Mansfield City Council, representing the 5th Ward. Because the board acted in disregard of clearly established law by refusing to place Yeager's name on the ballot, we grant the writ.

Facts

(¶ 2} Yeager submitted a declaration of candidacy to the Richland County Board of Elections on January 31, 2013, declaring his intention to seek the Republican Party nomination to represent the 5th Ward in the Mansfield City Council. The petitions he submitted along with the declaration contained sufficient valid signatures.

(¶ 3} Yeager was the only person to file a declaration of candidacy to run in the primary.

(¶ 4} R.C. 3513.02 provides that if in an odd-numbered year, the number of declared candidates seeking a particular party's nomination does not exceed the number of candidates that party is entitled to nominate, then no primary will be held, and election officials shall certify the declared candidate(s) for inclusion on the general-election ballot. Pursuant to that statute, the board of elections, at its March 14, 2013 meeting, sustained a motion to certify Yeager's candidacy for the general-election ballot without a primary.

(¶ 5} Subsequently, on April 2, 2013, the board determined that Yeager was not a qualified elector in the 5th Ward and did not reside at 462 Lily Street, the address listed on his voter-registration form.

(¶ 6} On July 9, 2013, the board officially voted to remove Yeager's name from the November ballot on the grounds that he did not live at the Lily Street address.

(¶ 7} Yeager commenced this expedited election action for a writ of mandamus on August 14, 2013, to compel the board to place his name on the general-election ballot. The board filed an answer, and the parties filed briefs under the accelerated schedule in S.Ct.Prac.R. 12.08(A).

(¶ 8} This cause is now before the court for consideration of ...


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