LAWRENCE COUNTY Elections board probes complaints about ads

The complaints said the signs, postcards and advertisements misrepresent a ballot question.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- The Lawrence County Elections Board will consider two complaints it received about signs and advertisements concerning the government study commission referendum on today's ballot.
Complaints were sent by the Lawrence County League of Women Voters and Robert Baird, a candidate for the government study commission.
Both objected to a newspaper advertisement and postcards sent by mail from county Commissioner Ed Fosnaught to Republican voters living in the county. The advertisement and postcards did not contain a line stating who paid for them, which is a violation of election law, according to the complaints.
The league's complaint, signed by President Ruth Ray, added that the advertisements and postcards were "a blatant misrepresentation of the ballot question that asks Lawrence County voters for a yes or no on a study of Lawrence County government."
Voters will decide today if they want to form a nine-member, nonpartisan commission to study alternative ways to organize county government. Any recommendations by the commission would have to be approved by voters in the next regular election.
Signs: Baird, one of the 31 people running for that commission, also objected to signs posted on highways by the Lawrence County Democratic Committee.
"They state we are to vote on a home rule charter, but we are to only vote on a study commission," he wrote in his complaint.
The elections board, consisting of Tom Fee, a former county commissioner, Philip Boudewyns, the county court administrator, and Luann Parkonen, law clerk for county common pleas President Judge Ralph D. Pratt, were expected to consider the complaints at a meeting this morning.

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