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MAHONING COUNTY Court of appeals rejects teen's bid to run for office



Published: Sat, April 27, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The court of appeals say the 17-year-old was not eligible to hold office because of his age.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER

BOARDMAN -- The 11th District Court of Appeals rejected a motion by a 17-year-old that he be permitted to run as a Republican precinct committee candidate.

Tyler M. Miller of Sheridan Road, a son of Boardman Trustee Kathy Miller, wanted to run for committeeman of Boardman Precinct 50.

But there was one problem -- he will not turn 18 until May 18, 11 days after the Republican primary.

Those who turn 18 before the November general election are permitted to vote in primaries and are considered qualified electors, according to the Ohio Secretary of State's Office. But they are not permitted to vote for issues or elected races that are determined in primaries such as precinct committee members, the secretary of state says.

Don L. Hanni Jr., Miller's attorney, had argued that his client is a qualified elector under state law because he is permitted to vote in the May primary and thus should be allowed to run for precinct committeeman.

Removed from ballot

The Mahoning County Board of Elections threw him off the ballot March 14 because of his age.

The 7th District Court of Appeals opted to refer the case to the 11th District, which ruled Friday against Miller and in favor of the board of elections.

"In order to be a qualified elector for purposes of having the right to hold public office, a person must attain the required age on, or before, the date upon which he will be elected to the office in question," the court decision reads. "Thus, since relator in the instant case will not be 18 years old on the date upon which the election for the position of county central committeeman will be held, it also follows that he cannot be a candidate in this particular election because he is ineligible to hold a public office."

Miller is a supporter of the Republicans for Real Reform movement, which is seeking to oust Mahoning GOP Chairman Clarence Smith. His mother is a member of the Real Reform's controlling committee.

Those elected to Republican precinct committee seats will vote for Republican chairman. The Real Reform movement and Smith have candidates in most of the 312 committee races.

skolnick@vindy.com




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