No-confidence voteWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s an old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” In Lucas County, we’re fond of saying, “If it is broke, don’t fix it.”
The Lucas County Board of Elections (BOE) found itself in under a cloud May 4 Election Day, when an employee posted a comment on Facebook that indicated she knew how one innocent citizen voted.
Credit the BOE for acting quickly, investigating, firing the employee and assuring the public of the integrity of the process, but this latest imbroglio is just the latest in a long line of controversies, oddities and questionable practices at the BOE.
The people with the authority to make changes at the BOE, elected officials, don’t seem to be in a hurry to fix the system, probably because they rely on its weirdness to ensure their own continued success. The county prosecutor, when faced with BOE issues, would rather play hot potato and pass them along. An investigation into BOE leadership needs to be conducted, before any more controversies, questions or integrity-shaking incidents occur. Consider this incomplete list of reported unresolved and unaddressed abnormalities:
- 90 absentee ballots sent to one individual’s home
- Multiple central committee candidates on the ballot who are registered to vote at vacant homes
- More than 50 central committee candidates certified to the ballot, despite committing fraud on their nominating petitions
- Prosecutor declines to prosecute individuals who admitted to multiple felony forgeries
- Ohio Republican Party refused to comply with state law when the central committee voted to disregard the law and not recognize chairmanship of Jon Stainbrook or Jeff Simpson
- Elected central committee members physically barred from entering a Lucas County GOP meeting
- BOE deems it OK to own a home in Dayton and work there for more than four years and vote in Lucas county elections.
It is no secret, from the back rooms of Lucas County to the Secretary of State Office in Columbus, that Lucas County election processes are a mess. While we recognize BOE oversees a Byzantine, understaffed and overworked process, there is no excuse for the authoritative body of the electoral process to appear to be so unstable. Leaders from Columbus to One Government Center need to take a long look at what is wrong and how it can be fixed, before an election-altering incident further undermines confidence in one of our most important governing bodies.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at email@example.com.