Look-Alike Voter Guides

This post is the text of an email that went out to Jackson Township liberty voters prior to the March 6, 2011 primary election.  It contains an explanation of the Republican Party endorsement process as well as detailing some of the shenanigans that were part of that election: 

Dear Jackson Township Voters and Friends,

In case you are not aware, a look-alike Republican sample ballot has been sent to Clermont County voters.  The Official Clermont County Republican Party Voting Guide had been previously sent, and the look-alike, the Republican Complete Voting Guide, which came out this week from a newly-created PAC, could easily mislead even the most savvy voter.

Let me review the process for creating the Official Voting Guide: 

Each of the 200 precincts in Clermont County is represented by a Committeeman who was elected in the Primary of 2010 – or has been appointed, in the case where no one ran for election or there was a resignation.  This group comprises the Clermont County Republican Central Committee, which generally meets monthly to conduct party business.  Sometime prior to each election, a candidate seeking the endorsement of the Republican Party will notify the chairman of his intent and will communicate with the committee members regarding his qualifications for the elected office he is seeking.  The candidate has opportunities to speak before the group at monthly meetings, to contact committeemen, and to attend events, while sharing information and being vetted.  This process varies in length, but typically extends over a number of months.

At a prescribed date preceding the election, the Central Committee conducts an endorsement meeting during which time votes are cast by secret ballot for the candidates seeking office.  If a candidate receives 60% of the votes of committeemen in attendance and voting (with a quorum being present), that candidate is designated as “endorsed” and will appear on the Voting Guide.  If a candidate receives at least 45% of the votes, he is designated “well-qualified”, and can use that designation on his campaign literature; however, he will not appear on the Voting Guide.  The resulting sample ballot, made up of only endorsed candidates, is intended to aid the republican voter in evaluating the candidates; and many voters have come to rely on the Voting Guide to communicate the perspective of the republican citizens elected from across the county who serve on this committee.

This November, the Central Committee conducted its endorsement meeting for the Primary election, with 179 members present.  Fifteen (15) candidates were endorsed, 11 of whom were running unopposed.  Fourteen (14) candidates appear on your Official Voting Guide (because one of the endorsed candidates had an issue with his paperwork filing, rendering him ineligible).  In the contested races, that leaves only Josh Mandel, Joe Uecker, and Vince Faris (who received 72% of the votes in the prosecutor race).

In contrast, the look-alike voting guide has 21 candidates: the 11 endorsed, unopposed candidates; 2 opposed candidates who were endorsed by the Republican Party (Josh Mandel & Joe Uecker), and 8 candidates who were not endorsed by the Republican Party.  Four (4) of those candidates are incumbents who sought the endorsement of the party but were not endorsed (Jean Schmidt, Don White, Barb Wiedenbein, and Ed Humphrey).   

Pictured below are the two voting guides – the Official one from the Clermont County Republican Party on the right, and the look-alike on the left.  The look-alike sample ballot was paid for by the Clermont County Republican Leadership PAC, which is neither a part of the Clermont County Republican Party nor recognized by it.   This PAC was created after the incumbent candidates failed to get the endorsement of their party’s central committee.  The creation and distribution of the look-alike republican voting guide is blatently misleading to the republican voters of Clermont County. Be aware of this deception and make an informed vote.

Serving you,

Marcie Woeste – Clermont County Republican Party Central Committee, JN-A

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