Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Board of Elections Resignations Threaten Ohio Obama Win

The Toledo Blade reported today:

Lucas County deputy chief on sick leave indefinitely

Jill Kelly, the deputy director of the Lucas County Board of Elections, was on an indefinite sick leave yesterday, leaving the agency with no director or deputy director in charge and an important election only a few months away. Ms. Kelly, who was left in control following the June 30 resignation of former Director Daniel Pilrose for medical reasons, called in sick Friday and yesterday.


Lucas County is one of the keys to an Obama victory in Ohio and this set of resignations puts that hope in jeopardy. This Board of Elections has in the past operated in a less than efficient way. Lucas County was the last county to post results in the '06 election and was quite the boob in the 2004 election.

Just a few days ago we learned that "Daniel Pilrose, Jr., submitted his resignation as director of the Lucas County Board of Elections, setting up a possible fight between the newly elected Republican Party chairman, Jon Stainbrook, and the Republican appointees on the board. Mr. Pilrose, 59, said he resigned at his doctor's advice, effective June 30, citing health reasons."

Wow! What a mess. In March of this year, 1,570 absentee ballots were invalidated because of poor handling [do not bend] instructions. At least 921 absentee ballots were disqualified because voters failed to seal them in ballot envelopes that were too small. Not only that but elections officials found more than a dozen computerized voting machine memory cards in the back of a sheriff's van.

In mid February, two weeks before the primary, the Lucas County Board of Elections had to reprint and re-mail about 6,500 absentee voter ballots that had an error that could have allowed Democrats to vote for both candidates for president.

If this incompetent and error-prone Board of Elections cannot get a primary right, how in the hell will they be able to get one of the most heavy turn-out general election right? The Secretary of State of Ohio needs to take over the Lucas County Board of Election right now.

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