Former Marion County Republican Party chair John Matthews and Republican county auditor candidate Robert Landon III have been charged with distributing illegal sample ballots.
The ballots highlighted the names of four Republican candidates and said they were produced by the Marion County Board of Elections website. At the bottom, the ballots say they were paid by the Marion County Republican Party. Ohio law prohibits the distribution of information that purports to be a communication from a board of elections. The charges were announced Tuesday by the Marion city law director, who is a Democrat. In 2017, Matthews was sentenced to one year of probation and 4 thousand dollars restitution after pleading guilty to theft in office for using his personal phone to make political campaign calls and texts while working for the Industrial Commission of Ohio.