Supporters of Jim Traficant for Congress will be at the Trumbull County Board of Elections at 9 a.m. today trying to secure a ballot position for an independent candidacy in the 17th Congressional District.
Earlier this week, the former congressman’s supporters were encouraged now that he appears to be just 103 petition signatures short of what he needs for candidacy.
Traficant’s campaign coordinator, Linda Kovachik of Boardman, said an appeal of the numbers will be filed in Trumbull County.
Since Trumbull County contains the largest share of voters in the district, its board of elections will decide whether Traficant qualifies as an independent candidate.
Traficant needs 2,199 valid signatures from registered voters residing in the district, which includes all of Trumbull County and parts of Mahoning, Portage and Summit counties. That number is 1 percent of the votes cast in the most recent general election for governor, in November 2006.
On Monday and Tuesday, Traficant campaign leaders visited the district’s county boards of elections, where elections officials re-examined petition signatures. In the re-examination Tuesday afternoon in Mahoning County, Traficant picked up five new valid signatures.
Earlier this month, Traficant submitted a total of 3,138 signatures districtwide.
Of the 1,931 names on Trumbull petitions, 489 were ruled invalid. In Mahoning County, 471 of 1,074 signatures were disqualified, and in Portage and Summit counties, 86 of 133 petition signatures were disqualified.
Reasons for disqualification of signatures included living in the wrong congressional district, not being a registered voter, failing to list a valid address or providing an illegible signature.