Pounds: BOE SOSWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | email@example.com
Despite Ohio Secretary of State oversight and investigations, the Lucas County Board of Elections (BOE) has proven itself to be incapable of smoothly running even a low-turnout primary election.
The May 6 election was marked by confusion over paper ballots in District 2, missing data cards, delayed results and, as usual, personal rancor and conflict among BOE members. The removal of former Director Meghan Gallagher seems to have made little difference; it is remarkable that a primary election that draws less than 10 percent participation could stumble so badly.
The contention and Keystone Cop antics that have characterized BOE member Jon Stainbrook’s tenure have long since ceased to be funny. The recent hearings conducted by the Secretary of State have done nothing to alleviate the impression that the most sacred of democratic processes is unprotected and vulnerable to mishaps.
There were not many surprises in the election. Incumbent Matt Cherry retained his District 2 Toledo City Council seat over strong candidates Marcia Helman and Bob Vasquez. In the 47th District Ohio House of Representatives race, incumbent Barbara Sears bested challenger Scott Allegrini. Kudos to Allegrini for moving from activist to candidate and we hope to see him run again in the future.
In the Republican state central committee race for the male representative in the 11th Senate District, Bill Delaney defeated county Republican Chairman Stainbrook, a positive and encouraging development, but ousted BOE Director Gallagher kept her committee seat over Diana Skaff.
The Secretary of State is clearly aware of the Lucas County BOE’s shortcomings and is taking steps to document its foibles. But it will take more than investigation and discussion to clean up the mess; it will take a clean sweep of the BOE to give Lucas County voters, as few of them as there are, confidence in the election process.
Perhaps a clean start and renewed faith in the process will lead to increased participation from candidates and voters.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: 11th Senate District, 47th District Ohio House of Representatives, Barbara Sears, Bill Delaney, Bob Vasquez, BOE, BOE member, Diana Skaff, Director Meghan Gallagher, District 2, Incumbent Matt Cherry, j low-turnout primary, Jon Stainbrook, Keystone Cop, Lucas County Board of Elections, Marcia Hellman, Ohio Secretary of State, paper ballots, Scott Allegrini