The Miami County Board of Elections voted last week to approve Tom Merritt as a candidate for Tipp City Council.

The board Aug. 21 voted to invalidate Merritt’s petitions for one of three seats on the ballot for the council because a required statement of candidacy was dated after he circulated the petition for signatures. Merritt challenged the decision, telling the board that he filled in all information on the statement and then dated it just before filing Aug. 4.

The board at its Aug. 27 meeting found the petition was in substantial compliance with requirements and added Merritt’s name to the ballot. He will join incumbent John Kessler along with Carrie Arblaster, Andrew Thornbury, John C. Roberts and William H. Roberts as candidates.

Merritt currently serves on the Tipp City schools’ board of education and chose not to seek re-election to that position.

Two council members – Dee Gillis and Mike McDermott – chose not to seek re-election.

Merritt told the elections board that he filled in the statement of candidacy before he asked people to sign the petitions but did not sign or date it until he was at the elections office to file. “I ask you to consider the substance rather than the form,” he said.

Board member Robert Huffman Jr. said the petition was in substantial compliance with requirements and should be approved by the board. Fellow board members agreed.

The board last week heard a protest of another candidate who made basically the same mistake of waiting to date the statement of candidacy. His petitions were accepted after the board heard his appeal.

The board Aug. 27 also approved write in candidates for November.

The write in candidates for Bethel schools board of education are Jacob King, Gregory Brueckman and Todd Ashley Wright. The board previously had invalidated the petitions of two incumbent board candidates, Michael Van Haaren and Scott Lawson. New board candidate Lori Sebastian’s petitions previously were certified.

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