Board of Elections rules pipeline charter amendment can be on ballot – appeal already filed with Ohio Supreme Court

The anti-pipeline petition for a Bowling Green charter amendment has won a battle to get on the ballot this November.

But the opposition has already filed an appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court.

The Wood County Board of Elections reported today that it has ruled in favor of the petitioners asking for Bowling Green voters to be able to cast ballots on a charter amendment against pipelines.

A hearing was held last week after a city resident, David W. Espen, who is a member of the plumber-pipefitters union, protested the petition. Espen, who was represented by Donald McTigue, of Columbus, said the petitions submitted did not have enough valid signatures, specifically noting the signatures of five BGSU students who used their residence hall addresses rather than their street addresses.

The Board of Elections determined the five signatures meet the street address requirement and are valid.

Espen’s protest also questioned the constitutionality of the charter amendment, saying it required the city to give citizens authority that the city does not possess.

The Board of Elections also concluded the protester had not presented sufficient evidence that the issue should not appear on the ballot.

“This is good news,” said Lisa Kochheiser, one of the citizens pushing for the charter amendment. “Now we just have to wait and see if the protester will take it to the Ohio Supreme Court.”

That appeal will have to be submitted quickly, since the charter amendment is scheduled to appear on the November ballot in Bowling Green.

“There’s a time crunch here,” Kochheiser said.

McTigue said late this afternoon that he had already filed an appeal today with Ohio Supreme Court. McTigue said he has respect for the Wood County Board of Elections, “but I think they are incorrect about the law.”