YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Jim Traficant, the ex-Ohio congressman convicted of taking bribes and cheating on his taxes, is close to getting on the November ballot, officials said Monday.
The Mahoning County Board of Elections decided Monday night Traficant, 69, has enough signatures on his nominating petitions to get on the general election ballot as an independent candidate in Ohio's 17th Congressional District, WKBN-TV, Youngstown, reported.
Traficant, who represented the district as a Democrat from 1985 to 2002, had started out the day 20 signatures short. The board's review left him with 11 names to spare, WKBN-TV said.
"It's not always easy to tell who signed those petition forms," board member Mark Munroe told the TV station. "And through the work of our staff, and through the Traficant supporters and volunteers, we were able to clear 31 additional signatures."
All that remains between Traficant and a spot on the ballot is a vote by the Trumbull County Board of Elections, which is expected to give its stamp of approval Wednesday, the TV station said.
Traficant -- who was released in September 2009 after serving seven years of a federal prison sentence --would face Republican Jim Graham and incumbent Democrat Tim Ryan in November.