MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Board of Elections certified all but one candidate for this year’s local election.
City Council at large candidate Tyler Fehrman was the lone candidate not verified by the staff and four members of the board. According to board of elections director Kim Horn, Fehrman had an insufficient number of signatures on his petitions after 13 were ruled invalid.
“He needs 50 valid signatures and he fell short,” Horn said. “We had to invalidate one whole petition. One of the signatures was signed by someone else and it invalidated all of the names on that petition. He collected 63 signatures, but we had to invalidate 13 on that petition, so all the remainder had to be valid. Several weren’t.”
Horn said petitions for public office have to be signed by residents registered as a voting member of the party, as well as living in the correct ward, city or township they are signing. The signatures are then compared to voters’ records and every effort is made to make sure the person who signed it is a valid voter.
Fehrman said it was his fault the petition was invalidated as he did not witness all of the people signing it at a Republican function earlier this year.
“I have to sign the back of the petition that I witnessed they signed,” Fehrman said. “I turned away from the table to talk to someone and one person signed for another.
“I met with the board of elections and chairman of the party [Monday]. We had handwriting comparisons and the signatures were identical. It negated the whole petition, so I was under the limit.”
Fehrman could appeal the invalidated signatures, but it would require both persons to swear under oath the signatures were theirs.
“It’s not worth jeopardizing the integrity of them, me and the board,” Fehrman said. “I’m disappointed (I won’t be on the ballot), but at the same time I have quite a bit of time to run for office. I’m going to transition now into helping manage the Republican ticket for the municipality. Hopefully, I can use my political experience to help in some other way.
“It’ll give me a chance to sit back and get some real life experience. I’ll see if I can help the city in some other way. I’ll do all I can to help the city.”