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Published: Tuesday, 10/1/2013

Lucas Co. elections board rejects challenge to DeGidio’s right to vote

DeGidio DeGidio

The Lucas County Board of Elections on Tuesday refused to hear a challenge to one of its members’ right to vote after he showed up as a registered voter in Mahoning County in August.

Board member Jon Stainbrook made the motion to challenge Anthony DeGidio, Jr.’s, right to vote in Lucas County. Mr. DeGidio has been living in Mahoning County with his parents since 2012, but claims an intent to return to Lucas County. The motion died for lack of a second.

The board then voted 2-1, with Democrats Ron Rothenbuhler and John Irish casting the majority votes, to dismiss the challenge. Mr. DeGidio abstained from the vote and Mr. Stainbrook voted no.

If he loses his right to vote in Lucas County, Mr. DeGidio would not be able to remain on the elections board.

Mr. Stainbrook, who is chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party, said the next step in the effort to remove Mr. DeGidio from the elections board is to file a court action.

Mr. DeGidio, formerly of Maumee, claims as his voting address 2815 Scarlet Oak Dr. in Sylvania Township, which is the residence of a friend. In August, the elections board was notified by the Mahoning County Board of Elections that Mr. DeGidio had updated his voter registration with an address in Youngstown. However, the registration was canceled when Mr. DeGidio said it was unintentional.

Kevin Pituch, the Lucas County assistant prosecutor assigned to the board of elections, said that an investigation by the Mahoning County Board of Elections found that Mr. DeGidio’s registration in Mahoning County occurred as a result of Mr. DeGidio’s sister attempting to register a vehicle in her brother's name for the benefit of their father.

As part of its challenge, the Lucas County Republican Party submitted a copy of a vehicle registration application with an address in Mahoning County that bears Mr. DeGidio’s signature, which Mr. Stainbrook said disproves Mr. DeGidio’s claim that the registration was done on-line by his sister.

“There was new evidence brought forward of Mr. DeGidio registering the car in his own hand, not his sister’s. It was a blatant lie and he was caught,” Mr. Stainbrook said.

Mr. DeGidio’s attorney, Stephen Hartman, rejected Mr. Stainbrook’s claims saying the case has already been decided.

“There’s already been a determination by Mahoning County and the board was informed that there was never any intent by Mr. DeGidio to change his voter registration and if something was done automatically as the result of a motor-voter law it wasn’t done as an attempt to change where he votes,” Mr. Hartman said.

A previous challenge to Mr. DeGidio’s right to vote in Lucas County in March was defeated when the same two Democratic elections board members sided with Mr. DeGidio and agreed that he had an intent to return to Lucas County.

Contact Tom Troy: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419--724-6058 or an Twitter @TomFTroy.

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