Without comment or fanfare, the Trumbull County Board of Elections made it official Wednesday, approving Jim Traficant to appear on the ballot in November in the race against incumbent Democrat Tim Ryan of Niles for Traficant’s old 17th District seat in Congress.
The meeting took less than a minute, as the four elections board members voted yes to certify the results of the most recent accounting of petition signatures.
The results say Traficant now has 2,154 valid signatures, 11 more than the 2,143 required by law.
The only issue that was unresolved Wednesday was the wording that will appear under Traficant’s name.
Linda Kovachik, a Traficant committee member, said she would forward a signed letter from the candidate today or Thursday indicting that he wants to be listed as “non-party.”
Kelly Pallante, elections board director, said the word “Independent” has not appeared on the ballot since about 2002 under Ohio law.
In addition to non-party, Traficant could chose “other party” or have no words under his name, Pallante said.
Kovachik thanked Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner for demanding that the Mahoning County Board of Elections reconsider whether its Traficant petitions were valid, which resulted in 31 signatures being validated on Friday.
Traficant, of Poland, did not attend Wednesday’s hearing.
In addition to Ryan, of Niles, the race features Jim Graham of Cortland, a Republican.