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Published: Wednesday, 7/23/2008

Ohio Secretary of State to work closely with Lucas County Board of Elections

BLADE STAFF

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said the Lucas County Board of Elections will have "transitional support" from her office until it no longer needs close monitoring and assistance.

In a letter Tuesday to newly appointed elections office director Linda R. Howe and board chairman Patrick Kriner, Ms. Brunner said she would personally participate in weekly conference calls.

Ms. Brunner requested the director, deputy director, and two board members of opposite parties participate with the weekly call.

The elections office emerged from state oversight in 2006, under then Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell.

"Since ending administrative oversight, the board appeared to be functioning adequately under the leadership of Jill Kelly and Dan Pilrose [Jr.]," Ms. Brunner wrote. "However, with less than four months before a presidential election with predicted record turnout, neither Mr. Pilrose nor Ms. Kelly is available to the board for day-to-day leadership and direction."

The four-member board of elections swore in Ms. Howe on July 17 to replace Mr. Pilrose who stepped down as elections director June 30, citing medical reasons.

Ms. Kelly had been left in control following the resignation of Mr. Pilrose. Still undecided is whether the board will fill the post of deputy director, with the current deputy director, Ms. Kelly, on sick leave for an unspecified length of time.



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