On August 15, U.S. District Court Judge George C. Smith denied ballot access to Greg V. Jolivette, an independent candidate for Ohio state house, 51st district. Jolivette had enough valid signatures, but he was still kept off the ballot because election officials, and the judge, believe he had too many ties to the Republican Party. Here is the decision in Jolivette v Husted, southern district, 2:12-cv-603.
Jolivette is not a sore loser and he did not even vote in the Republican primary, but the judge used Jolivette’s recent close ties with the Republican Party to rule against him. Ohio has the nation’s vaguest law on who can or cannot be an independent candidate. In Ohio, the voter registration form does not ask a candidate to choose a party (or independent status), so there is no concrete method to determine someone’s party membership (or independent status) except the record of whether the candidate votes in a party primary. But even though Jolivette didn’t vote in the Republican primary, he is still tagged as a Republican, against his will. The candidate is appealing to the 6th circuit, which is expediting the case. All briefs will be in by August 31.