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Iseminger says he'll be on ballot

August 04, 1998|By GUY FLETCHER

Washington County Commissioner candidate Bert Iseminger Jr. said he believes he has collected more than enough petition signatures to place his name as an Independent candidate on the November general election ballot.

The process of certifying Iseminger's signatures could take up to three more weeks, according to an election official.

Because Independent candidates do not run in primary elections, they must get a required number of signatures on a petition to have their names placed on the general election ballot.

Iseminger needs 1,914 certified signatures from registered voters to be placed on the general election ballot. That figure is based on 3 percent of the registered voters in the county eligible to vote for Iseminger, according to Dorothy Kaetzel, Washington County election director.

On Monday afternoon, the deadline for Independents to turn in candidacy petitions, Iseminger said he had collected 3,210 signatures.

"That ought to get me there," said Iseminger, chairman of the county Planning Commission and formerly a Republican.

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He said the signatures were collected during the past three weeks through a combination of door-to-door appeals, appearances at public events and with the help of volunteers circulating petitions on his behalf.

"I'm tickled to death with the response I've gotten," Iseminger said.

He said he believes the response is an indication of a great deal of interest in the commissioner race.

"I think it's a pretty good sign we're going to have a pretty good (voter) turnout this election," Iseminger said.

Kaetzel said her office has until Aug. 24 to verify Iseminger's petitions. Once 110 percent of the required signatures have been approved, the certification process will be halted and Iseminger's name placed on the ballot, she said.

So far, about 900 of Iseminger's signatures have been reviewed by the office, with approximately 5 percent ruled invalid for a variety of reasons, Kaetzel said.

A signature is ruled invalid if the person signing is not a registered voter in the county or fails to fill out the information properly, she said.

If Iseminger has enough certified signatures, he will be among a group of 29 candidates seeking election to the five commissioner seats, including 14 Democrats and 14 Republicans.

The primary election, in which Iseminger will not participate, is Sept. 15. The general election is Nov. 3.

The commissioner job pays $20,000 a year.

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