Screenshot of ballot
Joe Motil, Independent Write-In Candidate for the Unexpired Term Race for Columbus City Council is claiming that the Franklin County Board of Elections has purposely attempted to deceit voters from correctly writing in his name for Columbus City Councils Unexpired Term Race. It is also confusing for Write-In candidate Keith Hatton who is running in the City Council field race. While canvassing for votes at Whetstone Recreation Centers polling place this morning, Mr. Motil said that several people indicated to him that it was confusing as to which button to press in order to write him in. One voter said that they actually wrote him in the wrong race and then corrected it after reviewing their ballot.  After receiving a photo from a supporter of how the voting screen was set up it became obvious. Motil states, “As indicated on the front of my campaign literature, I am running for Fairness and Equality. I did not expect to be battling for fairness against the partisan politics of the Franklin County Board of Elections as well.” Mr. Motil went to the Franklin County Board of Elections headquarters on Morse Road early this afternoon and requested a picture of what the entire ballot page with his race on it looked like. After reviewing the page with an election official it became clear that the Write-In button for the field race could have easily replaced the box at the bottom of the page that reads, “Contest Continued Next Column”.  Instead the Write-In box for the field race  was placed directly above the section reading, For Member of Council, (Unexpired Term Ending 12-31-2017) (Vote for not more than 1)”. Motil says, “At the very least a space should have been provided to distinguish between the two races where the Write-In box is at the top right corner and the “For Member of Council” box directly below it. Mr. Motil was directed to call Franklin County Board of Elections Director Bill Anthony who has not returned his calls. Motil will be filing a complaint with the Franklin County Board of Elections and or the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office. This is not the first time Joe Motil has been involved in an election which presented itself with issues. In his 2003 Primary campaign for City Council, a Republican candidate did not sign several petitions, but printed her name instead. If the petitions were declared invalid it would have removed all 4 Republican candidates from the ballot. This would have allowed Motil and Bob Fitrakis to automatically be on the ballot for the General Election. The Board of Elections split on a 2-2 vote so the decision went to the Secretary of States office to break the tie. Republican Ken Blackwell was the Ohio Secretary of State at the time and naturally voted in favor of allowing the petitions. Motil and Fitrakis both lost in the primary.   Motil concludes, “There is no escaping the unfairness of elections in this city. Whether it is campaign contributions from millionaire developers who pay off Council candidates for the granting of tax abatements or unlimited campaign contributions from the rich and powerful of this city that City Council members are beholden to. This has to stop”.