CH charter limits signing of candidate petitions
With at least four candidates already having declared for Cleveland Heights’ first mayoral race, plus four Cleveland Heights City Council seats on the Nov. 2 ballot, residents should be aware that there are limits to the number of candidate petitions they can sign for those two races.
According to the Cleveland Heights City Charter (Section VII-3), “No elector shall sign more nominating petitions for different candidates for a particular office than there are positions to be filled for that office at the election for which the petition is signed. If he does so, his signatures on all petitions which postdate his signing the permissible number of petitions shall be invalid.”
That means Cleveland Heights residents can sign only one candidate petition for mayor, and no more than four would-be council candidate petitions.
Asked what happens if a Cleveland Heights resident signs five petitions for CH City Council—a race for which there are four available seats in this year’s election—a supervisor with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Candidate & Petition Services Department cleared up some of the misinformation that has been circulating.
He explained, “The first four petitions filed with that signer will be counted toward the total valid required for the candidate. If a fifth petition is filed with the same voter's signature, that individual's signature will not count toward the total required for the candidate.”
Cleveland Heights’ mayoral and city council candidates have from March 18 through June 15 to collect enough signatures to qualify for the Nov. 2 ballot. For both races, the minimum number of qualifying signatures required is 222; the maximum number is 666.
If three or more Cleveland Heights mayoral candidates file qualifying petitions with the Board of Elections by the June 16, 4 p.m., filing deadline, they will face off in a primary election on Sept. 14, with the top two vote-getters earning a spot on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Also on Heights ballots this November will be three CH-UH City School District Board of Education seats. As a separate entity, and one that represents residents in three cities, the CH-UH Board of Education is not governed by the Cleveland Heights City Charter, and there is no limit on the number of school board candidate petitions an elector can sign. Those candidates have until Aug. 4, 4 p.m., to file petitions with the Board of Elections. School board candidates need a minimum of 150 signatures, and a maximum of 450.
In University Heights, voters will elect a mayor and three University Heights City Council members on Nov. 2.
University Heights’ City Charter does not specify any candidate petition signing limits for the city’s electors. The number of signatures required for University Heights mayoral and council candidates' petitions is a minimum of 59 and a maximum of 177, and the filing deadline is Aug. 4, at 4 p.m.
The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has compiled an election calendar for each city and village in the county, as well as courts and school districts. In it, the board of elections indicates any petition rules and restrictions for, and specific to, each entity. To view the calendar, go to https://boe.cuyahogacounty.gov/pdf_boe/en-US/2021/CPS/2021ElectionCalendar.pdf.
Heights Observer staff
Three Heights Observer staff members contributed to this article: Bob Rosenbaum, co-chair of the Heights Observer Advisory Committee, and responsible for its advertising sales and market development; Kim Sergio Inglis, editor-in-chief; and Deanna Bremer Fisher, publisher.