Taft lawyers Stuart Dornette, Don Brey and Beth Bryan are representing Representative Al Landis, R-Dover, in an election contest before the Ohio House. Mr. Landis won re-election to the Ohio House in November from the 98th House District, encompassing all of Tuscarawas and most of Holmes Counties. His margin turned out to be 8 votes out of nearly 47,000 cast. After a recount and certification of Mr. Landis as the winner of the election, Democrat Joshua O'Farrell filed an election contest. The contest challenges decisions made by the Tuscarawas County Board of Elections not to count some 39 votes because of various problems with the ballots under Ohio law.
Under the Ohio Constitution and statutes, the contest is filed with the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court Chief Justice collects the evidence from the parties and then forwards it to the Ohio House, and the House makes the final determination of the contest. The unique process was most recently invoked in election contests for Ohio Senate seats in 1973 and 1981. The last time there was an election contest involving a House of Representative race was in the 1890’s.
The Columbus Dispatch wrote about the arguments presented to a Select Committee of the House on April 23. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.