Legal action OK’d after candidates removed from ballot

By Shelby Stewart-Soldan
Brandon Twp. — An error that resulted in several area candidates for library board positions to be disqualified from the August primary election, in Brandon, Holly, and Oxford townships, along with a few others in Oakland County could soon end up in court.
During the regular meeting on Monday night, the Brandon Township board of trustees voted to take legal action as a result of the dispute against Oakland County following a closed session.
“The township board unanimously voted to take legal action in an attempt to rectify the disqualification of the library board members,” said Clerk Roselyn Blair.
Following the April 23 filing deadline, the six candidates for the Brandon Township library board were disqualified. All candidates will now have to run as write-in candidates on the November ballot. Though the filing deadline for the general election has not passed yet, candidates for library board are not able to file to run in the general election.
Director of elections for Oakland County said the issue was that the affidavit of identity that the candidates filled out was incorrect according to state law. The law in question is an amendment to 1954 Public Act 116, section 558. It states that an affidavit of identity must contain the date of the election in which the candidate wishes to appear on the ballot, but the amendment does not give provisions for library boards which could potentially appear on the primary or the general election. The amendment was signed into law in 2021.
“This is a very frustrating situation,” said Blair during the meeting. “Please be patient as we navigate through this, in hopes that these candidates do appear on this ballot.”
Currently, the candidates have until Oct. 25 at 4 p.m. to file a write-in candidate declaration of intent, which can be found at the clerk’s office. Despite filing with an intention to be elected, Alan W. Allgaier, Verna Cole, John Crockett, Cheryl Gault, Janet L. Rathburg, and Kay Taylor will not be listed as candidates.
“Thank you for pulling your attorney in tonight and going into closed session to see the importance of this,” said current Brandon Library Board president Jan Rathburg during the meeting. “All six of us that should have been on the ballot as candidates are here tonight, and we’re still trying. It’s still important to us. We love this library, it is a diamond in this community and I know you all would agree with me. I just want to say thank-you tonight for pursuing this because it is very important.”

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