Mayoral candidates get certified by Board of Elections Tuesday

Voters wait in line on the last day of early voting outside the Hamilton County Board of Elections in Norwood on Monday, Oct. 2, 2020.

Some candidates and supporters might protest Tuesday as the Hamilton County Board of Elections makes official the list of candidates for Cincinnati mayor.

Nine people filed to run for mayor, but the board of elections staff determined only six had the required 500 signatures from registered voters needed to be placed on the ballot.

The four-member board of elections, composed of two Republicans and two Democrats, will certify the candidates' petitions Tuesday morning in a meeting at the board of elections' headquarters in Norwood.

The BOE staff found three candidates didn't gather enough valid signatures: City Councilman Wendell Young, tech entrepreneur Adam Koehler and activist Kelli Prather. 

At least one of the candidates, Kelli Prather, 48, from Madisonville, plans on contesting that finding. She fell 56 signatures short of 500, according to BOE staff.

Prather told The Enquirer she'll be at the BOE in Norwood Tuesday with supporters to argue she gathered enough signatures. She said she turned in three rounds of signatures, including 970 on Feb. 18. 

Kelli Prather

Some pages in the final round on Feb. 18 did get wet during the recent snowstorms, she said. 

"I believe this is a huge miscarriage of justice considering I didn't wait until the last minute," Prather said. "I was collecting signatures since last August."

She has asked on Facebook for "a few people who understand that Black people are not slaves, indentured servants or inmates in Hamilton County who are allowed to move about freely, to show up in support."

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