Library board trustees candidates omitted from August ballot

By Shelby Stewart-Soldan
Brandon Twp. — Several area candidates for library board positions have been disqualified from the August primary election, which includes all candidates running in Brandon, Holly, and Oxford townships, as well as some in other townships throughout Oakland County.
Candidates for the library board have to file by the April 23 filing deadline in accordance with state law, which is the deadline for the August primary election.
“If more than twice the number to be elected have filed, the county is required to put it on the primary,” said Joe Rozell, director of elections for Oakland County. “If less than that file, it gets pushed to the general election in November.”
In 2020, the election for library board members in Brandon, Holly and Oxford, as well as many other townships, were on the November general election ballot.
“While these folks may have been completing this form wrong in years past, it is in violation of election law,” said Rozell. “That is a primary office. In 2021 the law changed and said that if the affidavit of identity is not filled out correctly, they cannot appear on the ballot.”
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.
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. Rozell said many of those candidates were disqualified due to not including the primary election date on their forms. The candidates in Brandon also all filed $100 non-refundable fee to appear on the ballot.
“They’ve always been subject to the primary, they’ve always been required for the primary,” said Rozell. “Their filing deadline was in April. They do not have the right to file by July 23rd, they don’t get to file for the general. Their filing has closed, that’s it. Their remedy now is to file as a write-in.”
Rozell also said that the candidates who were disqualified will be alerted once the county election commission meets via letter, and it will outline that they have the ability to file as a write-in candidate.
Jay R. Taylor, a current Brandon Library Trustee and finance officer, said it’s unfortunate all interested candidates have been omitted from the ballot due to an error. 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.
Candidates have until Oct. 25 at 4 p.m. to file a write-in candidate deceleration of intent. To fill out a deceleration of intent, contact your local clerk’s office.
“Sadly, none of these people will be elected unless Brandon Township voters physically write their names on their absentee ballot or on their election day ballot,” he said. “Unless this is done, we face a situation where the library will have no board at all. I urge all voters to actively participate in the write-in process by recording the names of these dedicated citizens who sought to serve you on the library board.”
Three of the six are experienced trustees, said Taylor.
“All six candidates have shown a commitment to enhancing our community’s educational resources and deserve our careful consideration. Writing in the full names of these candidates is more than a gesture of support; it is a crucial action to ensure that our library continues to benefit from informed and passionate leadership. Let’s correct this error together by making our voices heard through our pens.”

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