Miami County Board of Elections upholds petition rejection

By Sam Wildow -

MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Board of Elections met Thursday morning to hear an appeal from Steven A. Mikolajewski from the bar 1More in Piqua about his local liquor option petition.

In August, the board rejected having Mikolajewski’s liquor option petition placed on the November ballot due to a lack of valid signatures from registered voters. The petition would have allowed voters in the same precinct as 1More to vote on whether or not Mikolajewski could sell alcohol on Sundays.

The board, along with Director Bev Kendall and Deputy Director Eric Morgan, went over a small handful of the signatures that were deemed invalid on Mikolajewski’s petition. One reason that some signatures were not allowed were due to those signatures not matching the ones that the board had on file for that voter.

“She said her health is different,” Mikolajewski said about one individual.

He explained that her health was impacting her signature and that she signed it differently each time.

“We can only go by signatures we have on file,” chairman Kelly Gillis said.

Another voter also signed her name with a different last name than what she was registered under to vote.

“She’s registered at that address,” Mikolajewski said.

“But not under that name,” Gillis said.

Other signatures on Mikolajewski’s petition were also printed when the signatures that the board had on file were done in cursive.

“I understand how it happens, but the issue we’re faced with is … she printed it versus her traditional signature,” board member Ryan King said about one voter’s signature. “The problem is we don’t have a way of making that discretion of somebody else printed that versus what we know to be her signature. I think there’s enough of those that that’s what’s possibly the issue.”

Gillis also said during the meeting that petitioners do not get a second chance to collect more signatures. The board upheld their original decision to reject his petition. Mikolajewski will need to wait for another election next year to submit another local liquor option petition.

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336