James Traficant, a former Democratic member of Congress from Ohio, attempted to run this year as an independent candidate for U.S. House in Ohio’s 17th district. However, he was told that he needed 2,199 valid signatures, and after his petition was checked, he was told that he only had 2092 valid signatures.
Now elections officials have acknowledged that their earlier determination of how many signatures were required was incorrect. See this story. Ohio requires independent candidates for district office to submit a petition of 1% of the last gubernatorial vote within that district. Ohio would make less work for itself if the law said such a candidate needs a petition of 1% of the vote cast for the particular office the candidate is running for. That would be easier, because anyone could easily know the vote cast for that particular office, just by looking at the official election returns from that past election. By making the formula 1% of the vote for governor in the last election, that forces elections officials to do a calculation of how many votes for Governor were cast in a particular district, something that is not apparent from the election returns. Thanks to Carter Momberger for the link. It appears that even though elections officials acknowledge error, the new calculation is only 29 signatures fewer than than the original calculation, so Traficante probably still doesn’t have enough valid signatures.
The newspaper story in incorrect when it says an independent candidate for district office needs signatures from each county in the district.