Connellsville council candidate's signatures may be ruled invalid
Many of the signatures contained on a Connellsville man's nominating petitions to run for city council appear to be invalid, according to the director of the Fayette County Election Bureau.
Tim Bechtold of South Pittsburgh Street is seeking the Democratic nomination for council, but 42 of 125 signatures on his nominating petitions have been challenged by Judith Keller of Wills Road.
During a hearing on Monday before Judge Nancy Vernon, Election Bureau Director Larry Blosser went over each of the challenged signatures. Blosser said some contained names or addresses that did not match the signer's voter registration, came from registered Republicans or individuals with no party affiliation, or were signed days before the signers' voter registrations became valid.
Bechtold did not present witnesses during the hearing, but he asked Vernon not to toss his nominating petition because of “technicalities.” Some of the incorrect addresses were off by only one number, he said, and some names did not match voter registration records because the individuals got married and forgot to update their records.
He said there was no intention to commit fraud.
“This was obviously a witch hunt,” Bechtold said. “I've done nothing to think there was any intent at fraud.”
Blosser said after the hearing that Bechtold needed 100 signatures to get his name on the ballot.
Bechtold said that if most of the signatures are found to be invalid, he will have missed that number by only a “handful.”
Vernon did not immediately rule on Keller's request but indicated she will do so “expeditiously.”
Bechtold is a member of the Connellsville Health Board. Keller is Connellsville's treasurer.
Liz Zemba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fayette Children and Youth Services to expand offices
- Fayette Relay for Life moves to Uniontown church
- Belle Vernon Eagle Scout project draws praise
- Acme teen excited to experience fair as queen
- Additional charges filed in Connellsville vandalism case
- Fayette man gets house arrest in prescription painkiller scheme
- Mother of Fayette County killer wants to testify in closed courtroom
- Dawson Grange Community Fair stands out by staying free to attend
- Former Fayette County Democratic chairman, county commissioner Lebder dies at 94
- Woman threatened with knife at ATM in Uniontown
- Uniontown homicide suspect says high blood sugar level should negate statements to police