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Ohio High Court Decides Two Ballot Challenges

COLUMBUS, Ohio (CN) - The Ohio Supreme Court weighed in on two election cases, upholding an election board's rejection of a ballot challenge and ruling that a write-in candidate for sheriff is not eligible to run for office.

In Wright v. Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, the justices rejected Milton Wright's claim that the county board lacked the authority to reject his protest and place a charter amendment on the Nov. 4 general election ballot. He originally claimed the amendment violated the Cleveland Charter and the Ohio Constitution.

The election board "did not exercise quasi-judicial authority in placing the proposed charter amendment on the ballot," the court concluded.

However, the justices ruled for the challenger in Wellington v. Mahoning County Board of Elections. They found that the board abused its discretion when it certified the qualifications of David P. Aey, a write-in candidate for sheriff. Sheriff Randall Wellington challenged his eligibility, claiming Aey didn't meet the post-secondary education requirement.

The board denied Wellington's protest, a decision that "disregarded applicable law," the justices ruled.

The court prohibited the board from certifying Aey's qualifications as a write-in candidate for the Nov. 4 election.

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