The Ohio Elections Commission is scheduled to consider — on the day before the Nov. 5 election — a complaint brought by three Springboro school board candidates against two opponents.
In an Oct. 11 complaint filed by campaign manager Sarah Jobe, Malone-Stuckey-Anderson accused Bitner-Vaughn of violating Ohio election law by using signs falsely claiming they are incumbents.
Bitner-Vaughn signs “do not include the word ‘for’ or ‘elect’ on them,” Jobe said in the complaint. “This is a first time run for both of them.”
Malone, Stuckey and Anderson hope to win back the majority on the Springboro board headed by President Kelly Kohls. Kohls, who is not seeking re-election, circulated nominating petitions for Bitner and Vaughn.
The current board has balanced the district’s budget and reduced pay-to-play fees, among other accomplishments it touts. It also has prompted criticism locally and nationally for bringing controversy to the district with a conservative agenda, that has considered including discussion of creationism in the classroom.
In the complaint, Jobe also noted another Warren County race in which the commission found Teri Smith, a candidate for Clearcreek Twp. fiscal officer, violated Ohio law with signs implying she was seeking re-election in a 2011 race with incumbent Linda Oda.
The commission set the Nov. 4 hearing in Columbus after finding probable cause of a violation Thursday.
Bitner-Vaughn issued a statement apologizing and pledging to correct the signs.
“Mr. Bitner and I have been working to correct that deficiency on our signs and pray that no one, other than Ms. Jobe, mistakenly believed Mr. Bitner and I were currently school board members. That was never our intent or desire,” Vaughn said in a statement issued Friday.
Late Friday, Jobe said she would continue to pursue the complaint.
“They’re correcting it now. This is something they should have known about,” Jobe said.
“If you didn’t get the signs right, how are you going to be on school board?” she said.