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TRUMBULL COUNTY Fake signatures are identified on four candidates' petitions



Published: Sat, March 1, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The board of elections checked with the people whose names were forged.

WARREN -- The Trumbull County Board of Elections has identified fraudulent signatures on petitions for four prospective candidates in the May municipal elections.

The petitions involved were for Roger Bauer, Warren 5th Ward Council, circulated by Melissa Sferra; James Mann Sr., Warren 5th Ward, circulated by himself; Ray Cox, Niles 4th Ward, circulated by Douglas Bell; and Michele Holbert, McDonald Village Clerk, circulated by herself.

The candidates will not appear on the ballot, and people who circulated the petitions face possible criminal charges, said Lyn Augustine, assistant director of the board of elections.

The petitions have been forwarded to the county prosecutor's office, she said. In each case, board of elections workers determined that the petition circulators allowed people to sign nomination petitions on behalf of other household members.

Noticed irregularities

Problems came to light when board workers noticed that similarities between signatures. The workers also compared signatures on the petitions with the signatures of registered voters they have on file.

"We called to certain voters, and they admitted they signed the name of someone else," Augustine said.

For each page of the petition, circulators are required to sign a note that they witnessed every person signing their own name, she said.




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