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Published: Wednesday, 7/9/2008

Fix of error gives Toledo street new city council rep

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER

The James Gate neighborhood off Angola Road has a new Toledo City Council member, now that it's in its rightful precinct.

The Lucas County Board of Elections yesterday voted to correct a two-year-old mistake in its voting maps by moving the residents of James Gate Drive from Precinct 5E to Precinct 24F.

The street, James Gate Drive, was erroneously lumped into a precinct that is in Council District 2, now represented by independent D. Michael Collins. In future, voters will vote in a precinct that is located in District 1, represented by Democrat Wilma Brown. The error affected about 30 voters, including 14 who voted in the 2007 City Council election.

Marty Limmer, information services manager for the board of elections, in an interview with The Blade yesterday, took responsibility for the mistake. He said the street, James Gate, is a private street that did not show up in AREIS, the Lucas County auditor's Web site of property addresses.

At yesterday's board meeting, Deputy Director Jill Kelly blamed the mistake on computer error.

Mr. Limmer said he entered the street into the elections system in October, 2006. The problem came to his attention when a voter in the district called to ask why a neighbor was in a different precinct.

James Gate is part of a new addition to the senior apartments called Waterford south of Angola Road and east of Reynolds Road. Precinct 5E is between Bancroft and Door streets running several blocks east and west of Holland-Sylvania Road.

Mr. Limmer said the change won't affect those voters except in whose council district they vote. And he said he has acquired additional sources of addresses to help avoid confusion involving private streets.

The mistake means the voters participated in one of city council's most heavily contested elections ever, when Mr. Collins emerged from a field of 10 candidates to take over the seat previously held by Republican Rob Ludeman, who was prohibited by term limits from running again.

Mr. Collins' margins of victory in the 2007 primary and general elections were large enough that they would not have been affected by the loss of the James Gate voters.

Ms. Brown was unopposed.



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