David Mayfield gathered more than enough signatures for his petition filing for the upcoming Marion City Council election. He only needed 25 and he got 30.
However, only three signatures on any of his three petition forms actually counted.
Mayfield had his signature notarized on Dec. 29. In doing so, Mayfield effectively stated that he witnessed the signatures of the registered voters who signed his petition. But the notarization occurred before 27 signatures were collected, invalidating them.
County Clerk Carol Maggard had to call Mayfield about the situation shortly after she received the petition.
“It was not technically certified,” Maggard said. “It was very unfortunate. I didn’t look forward to that phone call.”
Maggard said most people who file by petition do so to avoid paying a steep filing fee. She gave the example of register of deeds, which requires either 140 Republican signatures or 39 Democratic signatures. The other choice is to pay $440 for the filing fee.
The fee for Marion City Council was not as steep, $35, but using the petition format also has the benefit of giving the candidate a head start in recruiting voters.
“By signing that, that person says they are supporting you,” Maggard said. “You will support them right on through.”
Mayfield does not plan to engage in a write-in campaign and said he was not overly upset by the circumstances.
“It’s no big deal,” he said.