Lucas Co. BOE faces tough questions from the state - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Lucas Co. BOE faces tough questions from the state

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For more than 7 hours Wednesday, the Lucas County Board of Elections was on the hot seat.  Staff and board members answering questions from a state committee trying to make sure the organization works better and most importantly holds fair and accurate elections.

It was a time air grievances and get everything on the table, trying to find out what's really happening.  Here were some of the big takeaway:  there's a lot of distrust, lots of dysfunction, but there is also optimism that things are changing and faith that the primary election that's currently underway will run smoothly.

The meeting was run by the Secretary of State's transparency committee.  It was meant to get all the issues of the Board of Elections on the table, especially in light of a recent change at the top where director Megan Gallagher was removed and Gina Kaczala was put into that spot.

Wednesday's meeting hit everything from a lack of poll workers last year to personnel to how much freedom staff members have to surf the Internet.  Everyone agreed the board and staff members need to communicate better, bring all issues to light.  The bottom line was to work to make sure elections go off without a hitch.  Because as what was mentioned today, the public doesn't much care how exactly it gets done, but that it gets done.

"I hope it's a continual improvement or working together to make sure there's a good election," said Ron Rothenbuhler, Lucas County Board of Elections member (D).

"I think it's a very good sign that the Secretary of State is in Lucas County and taking this election in May very seriously.  It's all about the voters of Lucas County and to make sure every vote counts," said Jon Stainbrook, Lucas County Board of Elections member (R).

A couple of other matters came up in Wednesday's meeting.  No campaign finance forms have been sent from the Lucas County board to the state ethics commission in 2 and a half years.  Plus, a hard drive was wiped cleaned by a now former employee.  The deputy director of the Board of Election says there was no election sensitive material on it.  But an investigation has been launched to try and find out what was there and what exactly was wiped out because at this point no one knows for sure what was on it.    

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