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It’s official: Traficant’s name is on ballot

Published: Thu, September 2, 2010 @ 12:05 a.m.


Ex-U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr.




Without comment or fanfare, the Trumbull County Board of Elections made it official Wednesday, approving Jim Traficant for the ballot in November in the race against incumbent Democrat Tim Ryan of Niles for Traficant’s old 17th District Congress seat.

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 indicting that he wants to be listed as “nonparty.”

Kelly Pallante, elections-board director, said the word “independent” has not appeared on the ballot since about 2002 under Ohio law.

In addition to nonparty, 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 Monday.

That decision followed an earlier vote by the Trumbull elections board in which members split 2-2 on whether to certify an earlier accounting of Traficant signatures.

The Traficant committee argued that a large number of signatures were ruled invalid that should not have been. The committee’s work resulted in Traficant’s having 107 too few signatures to having 11 more than needed.

Traficant, of Poland, did not attend Wednesday’s hearing.

In addition to Ryan, the race for the 17th Congressional District includes Jim Graham of Cortland, a Republican.

Chris Michelakis, the former Democratic Party chairman and current Trumbull Board of Elections chairman, announced at the outset of the meeting that there would be no comments accepted regarding the certification.

After the vote, the meeting was closed.

Kovachik said afterward that getting her former boss on the ballot is reason to celebrate, but “It’s sad what they put us through. It should have been done months ago.”

Kovachik said she believes that in at least a couple of counties, the elections boards purposely tried to keep Traficant off the ballot because of his conviction on bribery, racketeering, filing false income taxes and obstruction of justice that resulted in a seven-year federal prison term.

“This is ridiculous to put anyone through this,” she said.


11970mach1(1005 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

"Chris Michelakis, the former Democratic Party chairman and current Trumbull Board of Elections chairman, announced at the outset of the meeting that there would be no comments accepted regarding the certification."

Open govt at its worst!

In Mahoning County, the board members and director all talked with the press afterwards and before.

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2author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

What happened in and at the Trumbull and Mahoning County Boards of Fixxed Elections was almost as bad as what James Traficant was convicted of... almost.

When will Gains investigate the MCBOE?

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3JME(802 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Now we'll see allot of Timmy Ryan in the press touting all of his accomplishments.

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4RealAmericanPatriot(56 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I hear Tim Ryan is going back to his old ways of campaigning: he's going to be everywhere with any army of supporters shaking hands, getting the vote out, and reminding people why he was elected.

Traficant still has support around here but without any type of ground game (besides Linda Kovachik and a small group of loons) he cannot win an election.

Is he even in the area or the state? Although he''s well known, Jimbo missed a great opportunity to show up with his supporters these last few weeks and let voters know that he's actually serious about this.

As of right now, it looks like Linda and her friends want him on the ballot but I'm not so sure that he even wants to run.

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5Silence_Dogood(1670 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

"All Traficant supporters are certified GOOFS look at one of them here..."

You may be right about that BUT...

The Mahoning County Board of Election is nothing more then a South American dictatorship. When they try to prevent someone from running in an election they are NO BETTER then a thug with a gun or machete intimidating voters at the pooling booths.How in Gods name do they go from several hundred short to at lest a dozen plus after SEVERAL recounts.
These clowns were abusing thier position of athority and for what to disqualify a nutcase that THEY dont like. Democracy is not pretty, you have to take the good with the bad. When you start to have officials that decide for the voters instead of the voters deciding, you are no longer going down the slippery slope because you are allready down the slide and wallowing in the cesspool.

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6JME(802 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I got the impression that Traficant was laying low as to not piss off the Board of Elections, or anyone else for that matter, until this was clarified. He just let his supporters run with the ball on this one.
It will be interesting to see if/when he'll break out of his silence and go on a ranting spree.

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7mrblue(1175 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

The board of elections needs to be investigated by the State of Ohio. Their actions were totally unacceptable. It doesn't matter if you like a candidate or not, it is the voter who decides.

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8ValleyNative(174 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Yep, this sure makes the Mahoning Valley look great to anyone outside of it.

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9Siouxi(122 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

ValleyNative, too late for that; it's already happened! I remember Laugh-In in the early 70's had a "Fickle Finger of Fate" award, and Youngstown won it for consistently voting down school levies.

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10theCaliforniaKid(56 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

We nut-job supporters would rather fight than switch.

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