BOE meets with Sec. of State reps tomorrow - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

BOE meets with Sec. of State reps tomorrow

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The Lucas County Board of Elections is still under scrutiny by the Ohio Secretary of State's office.

Secretary Jon Husted (R)  wants to make sure the BOE is ready for the May 6th primary.

Intervention with the board is not new.  Back in 2012, the Secretary of State's office oversaw operations at the board.

In 2013, that office recommended the director and deputy director at the BOE be fired.

In 2014, the director was replaced.

Now, more scrutiny from the Secretary of State as he creates a Transparency Committee consisting of a former Assistant Secretary of State (Scott Borgemenke), former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, James Ruvolo who is a Toledo-based political consultant and Jonathan Allison of Carpenter, Lipps and Leland.

This committee was established Monday, April 6 by Husted who believes there is a serious lack of communication among Lucas County board members and between the board and staff.

Early voting for the May 6th primary began April 1st.

A month before,  BOE director Meghan Gallagher was fired; poor communication was cited as an issue.

The Board's new director, Gina Kaczala says, last week, three representatives from the Secretary of State's office talked with staffers and management to see if the new team was working well together.

Kaczala told 13abc's Bill Hormann, "I think we were able to express to them very well that we do work as a team."

But operations on the four-member board have been contentious.

So the Secretary of State has created a Transparency Committee which tomorrow will look at the board.

The Secretary of State said in a press release:

"The voters of Lucas County deserve first-class elections, and I will take whatever action I deem necessary to make sure that becomes a reality."

Republican board member Jon Stainbrook says the BOE is not ready for the May primary, citing problems such as:

Voting machines being tested too late...

Internet lines at the polling place not being secure...

Absentee ballots still being printed...

Questions about whether those ballots will be properly counted on election night.

Stainbrook is glad the transparency committee will be here, saying, "It's exactly what we need for voters to be able to say the election is alright.".

And the deputy director believes Wednesday's meeting with the committee will help ensure a first-class election.

Dan DeAngelis (D) said, "I've been around this block before and I've always welcomed the intervention, the advice and the support of the secretary of state's office."

Board members and staff will answer questions about policies.. procedures and operations.

The Secretary of State says he wants the board to "set aside partisan and personal bickering and cooperate in the interest of elections administration."

The meeting starts Wednesday at 10am.

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