The Court of Appeals has ruled that the time frame has passed for the Lucas County Board of Elections to hold a protest hearing on District 6 Councilwoman Lindsay Webb's late filing of her acceptance of nomination.
This means that the BOE cannot hold a protest hearing. But is that the end of the issue?
As I've said in the past, I blame the members of the BOE - especially the two new Republicans (one of whom was appointed supposedly because of his vast experience in election law) - for not knowing what was required and ensuring that all criteria were met PRIOR to voting to certify candidates to the ballot. Had our Republican representatives on the board made a checklist of items needed for certification, they would have known that Webb didn't meet the filing deadline for her acceptance letter and would have questioned that at the certification vote, no matter what the BOE staff had done.
But because of the ruling, the BOE should now be researching how they can de-certify a candidate without a protest being filed. They should be having conversations with the Secretary of State and their legal representative about what their options are. They messed up and it should be up to them - not a protest by another candidate - to fix the problem.
They've de-certified candidates in the past (most recently Neal Mahoney this year) as have other elections boards across the state, so it wouldn't be a first time or even an unusual action for them to take. In the case of Mahoney, they de-certified him after they improperly certified him - so how would that be different from Lindsay Webb's case?
So if they haven't asked this question, they should. And if they've asked it, they should share the answer with the public.