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A. Nominations. Candidates for all offices to be voted for at any Municipal election under the provisions of this Charter shall be nominated at a nonpartisan primary election to be held on the 7th Tuesday prior to such Municipal election. The name of the candidate shall be placed on the ballot for said nomination when a petition in the form hereinafter prescribed shall have been filed in his behalf with the election authorities. Said petitions shall be signed by qualified electors of the City not less in number than three (3%) percent of the number voting in the City at the last preceding regular Municipal election if said petitions are for the nomination of a candidate for an office to be filled by election from the City at large, and by not less in number than three (3%) percent of the number voting in a ward at the last preceding regular Municipal election if said petitions are for the nomination of a candidate for an office to be filled by election from said ward.
B. Petitions. The nominating petition shall set forth the name and address of the candidate, the title or other description of the office to which election is sought and the term thereof, and which shall be signed by the requisite number of qualified electors of the City or ward. Such petitions may consist of several petition papers, each being of the same form and substance except as to the signatures thereon, and each separate petition paper shall bear the written acceptance of the nomination by the nominee named therein and the oath and signature of the circulator of such separate petition paper. It shall be optional with the candidate whether or not the petition papers shall contain the names of a committee to represent such candidate in matters concerning the nomination and election, and if the petition form contains space for such committee the same may be left blank without invalidating the petition.
C. Filing of Petition. All separate petition papers of any candidate shall be filed together as one petition, and the filing fee, if any, fixed by law, paid in the office of the election authorities of Lake County, Ohio, at or before 4:00 p.m. of the sixtieth (60th) day next preceding the primary election day of each odd numbered year. Within ten (10) days after the filing of such petition the election authorities shall notify the candidate in writing, mailed to the address stated in the petition, if such petition is sufficient, and if so, the name of such candidate shall be placed upon the proper ballot as required by law and this Charter. If the election authorities find that a petition is insufficient or incorrect in form or substance the same shall be returned by registered mail to the candidate with an explanation of the reason for its return. In such case, the candidate shall have an additional ten (10) days from the date of such mailing in which to file additional signatures or to correct the errors in the original petition, if possible, and to re-file the petition with the election authorities, not later than 4:00 p.m. on said tenth (10th) day. Upon such re-filing, if the petition is found by the election authorities to be sufficient in form and substance, the candidate shall be so notified and his name placed upon the proper ballot as required by law and this Charter. If the petition as re-filed is not sufficient or correct, it shall be rejected, and the candidate so notified by mail.
D. Selection of Candidates. The number of candidates for any office at any regular Municipal election in the City whether at large or in a ward, shall be the two candidates on the primary election ballot receiving the highest number of votes for each office to be elected. If for any office there shall not be more than two persons for each office to be elected who shall have filed petitions as provided for in this Charter, the said persons shall be the candidates at the regular Municipal election and the primary for the particular office or offices shall not be held.
E. Elections. A general election for the choice of elective officers provided for in this Charter shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in odd numbered years. Elections so held shall be known as regular Municipal elections. Such other elections shall be held as may be required by law, or provided for in this Charter.
F. Protests. Notwithstanding the provisions of (C) above, all petitions of candidates accepted as valid and sufficient by the election authorities shall be available for public inspection until 4:00 p.m. on the fortieth (40th) day before such primary election and at or before that time written protests against any one of more of such petitions may be filed by any qualified elector eligible to vote for the candidate to whose petition he objects. Such protest shall be filed with such election authorities and it shall state the grounds for such protest, and the grounds not stated shall not be considered in the hearing upon the protest. Upon the filing of such protest the election authorities with whom it is filed shall promptly fix a time for the hearing of the same, and shall give adequate notice by mail of the time and place of such hearing to the person who filed the protest and also to the candidate whose nomination is protested. At the time so fixed the election authorities shall hear the protest and determine the validity or invalidity of the petition. Such determination shall be final.
G. Laws of Ohio to Control. Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, the laws of Ohio shall govern the nomination and election of the elective officers of this City.
(Amended May 7, 1974)