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Published: Thursday, 4/21/2005

Democrat resigns seat on Lucas County Board of Elections

Democrat Diane Brown has submitted her resignation from the Lucas County Board of Elections to Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio's secretary of state.

But unlike other board members, who made their resignations effective immediately, Ms. Brown stated in her one-page letter to Mr. Blackwell that she intends to stay on the board until June 3.

"I have chosen to make my resignation effective on that date because I believe it would be unwise to leave the Lucas County Board of Elections with no experienced board member in place weeks before an election," she wrote in a letter to Mr. Blackwell. "I also believe that providing some period of transition to a new board is the responsible thing to do."

Mr. Blackwell has called for the removal of all four elections board members after a long investigation into irregularities surrounding the November election.

"We would certainly prefer an earlier resignation date. It is a matter that our staff is discussing with Ms. Brown," said Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for Mr. Blackwell. "We believe we can come to a mutually agreeable situation.

"Certainly," he added, "the reconstitution of the Lucas County Board of Elections is the main priority of Secretary Blackwell. We will work toward that end."

Mr. LoParo said Mr. Blackwell plans to send a team of "experienced election officials" into the county to help the elections office get through the May 3 special election.

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