IN '1;'IiE SdJPRE1VdF C'Q)URT OF OHIO

STATE ex rel. S'I'L'VE CHRISTOPHER 1657 C.R. 175 Forest, Ohio 45843, Rclator,

Case No.

Original Action in Mandamus
Vs. HON. JF"NNIFER BRUNNER OHIO SECRETARY OF S'I'A" 180 I'ast Broad Street Expedited Election Case IJnder S.Ct. I'rac. R. 10.9

Columbus, Ohio 43215,
Respondent.

M(9TI®N FOR F.XPEDITED ISSUANCE OF ALTERNATIVE WRIT

David R. Langdon (0067046) Counsel nfRecord

Bradicy M. Peppo (0083847)
LANGUUN I,AW LLC

11175 Reading Rd., Ste. 104 Cincinnati, Ohio 45241 (513) 577-7380 (513) 577-7383 fax dlangdon(^langdonlaw.com bpeppo,^i^langdonlaw.coni ('oztnset for Relator Sdeve ('hristopher

Richard Cordray (0038034) OHIO A"I'"I'ORNEY GENERAL 30 E. Broad Street, 17`h Floor Columbus, Oliio 43215 (614) 466-4320 (614) 466-5087 fax
Counsed for Re.sponctent Ohio Secretcny qf State Jenni_ fer Briinner

INTRODUCTION On February 18, 2010, Relator Steve Christopher walked into the oftice of the Secretary
of State and submitted over 240 part petitions containing over 2,700 signatures in support of his candidacy for statewide olficc. He needed only 1,000 valid signatures to be certified to the primary ballot. For reasons unknown, only 104 of these filed petitions, containing only 804 signatures, were ever sent to the county boards of elections lor verification. And so the Secretary refused to certify his caitdidacy. Upon being publicly challenged by the Secretary (in a press release) to provide proof of

the approsimately 140 submitted petitions which had never been sent to the county boards of elections, Mr. Christopher provided copies of the same, wllieh lie had made immediately prior to filing the originals witlt the Secretary's office- The Secretary has now received these copies but, nevertheless, has refused either to serd tlie n to the boards of elections for verification or to instruct the boards of election to place Mr. Christopher's name upon the ballot. In order to protect liis rights to appear on tlie ballot (and the rights of the matiy dedicated volunteers who circulated his candidate petitions), Mr. Christopher now seeks relief from this Court.

ARGUMENT
Rclators have requested a Writ of Mandanws against Ohio Secretary of Statc Jennifer Brunner ordering her to certify Relator Steve Christopher as a carrdidate for the Republican nomination i'or election to the office of Ohio Attorney General and to place liis name on the Republican Primary ballot for the upcoming election on May 4, 2010. As argued in Relators' Complaint (filed herewith, and incorporated herein by reference), because Mr. Christopher submitted the requisite number of valid signatures, the Secretary has a clear legal duty to certify his candidacy.

-I-

ln the event the Court does not issue a peremptory writ, Relator moves the Court to issue an alternative w*.-it ol' mandamus staying enforcement of the Secretary of State's decision to not certify Mr. Christopher's candidacy and, further, directing the Secretary to instruct the county boards of elections to place Stsve Clu-istophei's namc on the Republican Primary ballot, pending the (inat outcoine of this case. See generally Stale ex rel. Gaylor, Inc. v. Goodenow, 2010-Ohio919 (March 12, 2010) (issuing alternative writ staying enforcement of disqualification decision pending eatni's final resolution ofi-elator's claiti7 foriiaandaotits).

nn expedited alternative writ is necessary to prevent the potential disruption of the early voting process. According to the expedited calendar for election cases, this case would not reach final resolution until after the county boards of elections have already printed ballots for early voting, which starts on March 30, 2010. At that point, if ttte Court were to decide in favor of Mr. Christopher, it would force ttte boards to incur considerable expense in printing new ballots and, ultimately, potentially disrupt the early voting process. It is also possible that such a delay would prevent Mr. Christopher's unlawful exclusion from the ballot [i•om being retnedied at all.
On the other hand, should this Court determine that the Secretary was correct in not certiiying Mr. Christopher's candidacy and that tiis name should not have been included on the bal lot, the Secretary can instruct the boards of elections, as it has on maury occasions previously, to take the same steps they already take when a candidate withdraws from a race. See, e.g., Secretary of State Directive 2006-74 (instructing county boards of elections to remove Issue I from the ballot, based oo court order af'tirming Secretary's ctecision not to certify the issue, by posting a noticv at the polling place and cnclosin;.= a notiee with each absentee ballot, consistent with R.C. '15 13.30(N:)). 1
' R.C. 3513.30(L) governs the process Cor boattis of election when a candidate on a primary ballot withdraws, requiring thein to "post a notice at each polling place on the day of the primary eleetion" and to "enclose

2

It is not at all uncommon for the Secretary of State's office to instruct the boards to place a candidate's natne ot• an issue on the ballot, pending final certification, when ballot placement is uncertain at the time of ballot eertification. See, e.g., Secretary of State Directive 2006-62 (instt-ucting county boards of elections to include five statewide issues on the ballot, even though otiIy two of them had been certified to the ballot as of the deadline for ballot certification). This is because it is ntuch casier to remedy an improper inclusion of a candidate's name on a ballot thanit is to remedy the eYclusion of a candidale wliose name should lawfully have been included. Morcover, the practice is consistent with Ohio's strong public policy in favor of free
and competitive elections, in which the electorale has the opportunity to niake a choice between candidates. For the foregoing reasons, Relator requests the Court to issue an expedited alternative writ of tnandamus staying the Secrotat-y's decision not to certify Steve Christopher's candidacy and directing her to instruct the county boards of elections to place his name on the Republican Primary ballot pending the linal outoome of this case.

(aontinued...) with each absent voter's ballot given or mailed" a notice that votes for the withdrawn candidate "will be void and will not bc countcd.".

-3-

Respectfully submitted,

David K. Lar don ( 67 46) ('ounsetqfRecord

f^o7^^Vf^

Bradley M. T eppo (0083847) LANGDON Lnw LLC
11 175 Reading Rd., Ste. 104 Cincinnati, Oliio 45241 (513) 577-7380 (513) 577-7383 fax dlangdon(ulangdonlaw.com bpeppo@langdonlaw.com

Cozrnsel for Relator Steve Chrislopher

4

PRAECIPE TO CLERK Please serve the foregoing Motion on the Respondent named herein, as Pollows:
HON. JENNIh'ER I3RUNNER Ohio Secretary ofi'State 180 East Broad Street Columbus, Ohio 43215

^ /S' `^^ v David R. l,angd (006 046)

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
"1'he undersigned certifies that a copy of the foregoing Motion was served by electronic mail this 12°i day of March, 2010 upon the following: Brian Shinn bsh i nnriissi}sstatc.o It.}is Aaron D. I;pstein laron }^ s!<:in rr:ohi attornLV, pneral.nc v i)amian Sikora Damian.Sik^i ^^riiohioattorneygcn4l_zJ^nov Richard N. Coglianese 12iuh 3rI.C(h inetie t^ohrmmor_nu ^^eneral gov Pearl Chin ^ohioai10 rnevEiI.gov I1ea11.Chin_

4 Uavicj R. Langdon ( 006 46) 9WeWe N J^^

1^a^®^

I-Ir

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful