Left off ballot, incumbent free to run as a write-in candidate

She was tossed off the ballot because petitions were wrong.
WARREN -- There could be a Democratic write-in candidate in Warren's 1st Ward council race this May.
Problems with incumbent Virginia Bufano's petitions of candidacy got her tossed off the May 3 primary ballot this week by the Trumbull County Board of Elections.
No other Democrat or Republican filed for the seat, and independent candidates have until May 2 to file.
Elections Director Kelly Pallante said she researched the matter with the Ohio Secretary of State's office and learned that a Democratic write-in is still possible, so Bufano could file as a write-in.
Pallante explained that a person can still run as a Democratic write-in in places where there's already a municipal primary -- such as Warren, Niles, Girard and Hubbard.
Forms for such a candidacy are available to be filled out in person at the board of elections on Youngstown Road, by the 4 p.m. March 14 deadline. There's a $45 filing fee for city offices.
Hopefuls would have to get as many write-in votes as they would have needed on a successful petition of candidacy. That's 25 write-in votes for a ward race to go on to November's general election.
If there's more than one write-in candidate in a ward contest, the winner is whoever gets the most votes over 25, Pallante explained.
Count didn't match
Bufano, of 1422 Oakdale N.W., encountered a problem when the number of signatures a circulator said was witnessed on one page of her petition -- 14 -- didn't match the actual number of names on that page, which was 16.
Bufano held the seat for 14 years before being defeated in 1998. She regained the seat in 2000.

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