The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 27, 2013

Bipartisan helper costs man local ballot spot

Associated Press

SOMERSET — So much for bipartisanship.

The Somerset County Elections Board won't let a Democrat run for auditor in a southwestern Pennsylvania township because the man who circulated the candidate's nominating petition was a Republican.

Michael Sayler needed the signatures of 10 fellow Democrats to get on the May primary ballot. And he got them — but they were collected by Township Supervisor James Yoder, Republican.

The elections board tells the Daily American that state law requires the person who gathers the signatures to be from the candidate's party.

Yoder says he was just trying to help and has also gathered signatures for Kelly Hoffman, the township's Republican candidate for auditor.

Yoder says he just wanted to make sure the township had candidates from both parties — and he's encouraging township residents to cast write-in votes for Sayler.