A race for trustee in Mifflin Township is uncertain after the Franklin County Board of Elections acted to disqualify the petition of challenger Michael J. Bridges Jr.
Bridges had filed to run against incumbent Richard J. Angelou.
Only 21 of the 26 signatures submitted were found to be valid, according to the board of elections.
A minimum 25 valid signatures are required for candidates running for township positions.
Bridges said he plans to appeal the decision, and he’s looking into what happened.
Elections board spokesman Aaron Sellers said the elections board’s next meeting is scheduled Sept. 9.
“If reconsideration is going to happen, it will need to be at that meeting,” Sellers said. “Anything after that, we run into printing of the ballot issues.”
Any time a candidate doesn’t meet the requirement of valid signatures, Sellers said, additional board employees will look at the petitions to make sure something wasn’t missed.
“Many of the signatures are invalidated because the person that signed the petition is not registered or does not live at the address they provided,” he said. “When that happens, there is no remedy.”
If a candidate asks the board to reconsider, it could, as has been done in the past, get affidavits from the petition signer to attest under oath that it was the petitioner’s signature.
“This happens from time to time when candidates fall slightly short on the number of required signatures needed,” Sellers said. “The board then takes that into consideration and will vote on the reconsideration.”
All candidates and issues must be certified by the elections board by Aug. 27.
Military and overseas voting begins Sept. 20; early in-person and absentee voting for others begins Oct. 8.