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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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Published: Monday, 3/24/2014 - Updated: 6 months ago

Temporary vote center rankles GOP chief

Lucas County elections officials admit move ‘rushed’

BY MARLENE HARRIS-TAYLOR
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Jon Stainbrook Jon Stainbrook
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Lucas County voters will be able to cast early ballots in the May 6 primary election at a new location in downtown Toledo.

Hours for the Lucas County Early Vote Center, third floor, 1946 N. 13th St.:

■ April 1-4 — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
■ April 7 — 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
■ April 8-11 — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
■ April 14-May 2 — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday -Friday.
■ May 3 — 8 a.m. to noon.

Early voting will be available April 1 through May 3 at 1946 N. 13th St. on the third floor of the BTC Properties building. The county Board of Elections approved the use of the site as a temporary vote center Monday by a 3-1 vote.

Jon Stainbrook, the county Republican Party chairman, cast the no vote on the lease of the property, citing concerns over the security of the Internet connection at the location. County officials said it will cost about $3,300 a month to lease the space, which they said is handicapped accessible and is in a secure building with ample parking.

“In all honesty, this is not the best possible scenario for how we would go about having the early vote center. We would have liked to have been in a long time ago. We are going to be ready, but it’s a little rushed,” said Board of Elections Deputy Director Daniel DeAngelis.

Election officials said this temporary site was not their first choice for this election cycle. Mr. DeAngelis said the board is planning a major move to consolidate its employees and warehouse in a new headquarters and create a permanent early vote center at 616 Jefferson Ave., known as One Lake Erie Center.

County administrator Laura Lloyd Jenkins said it will cost nearly $350,000 to renovate the building and move the office staff and the servers used to count votes and calculate election results out of One Government Center to One Lake Erie Center.

“With having it under one roof you are eliminating the cost of renting an early vote center and it just got to a point that it made more sense for us. It’s so hard on the equipment when you have to break down computers and servers,” said Gina Kaczala, director of the bipartisan elections board.

Their hope was to have the one-stop-shop up and running in time for this primary election in May but it didn’t work out. “We want to take the time to do it right, “ said Mr. DeAngelis.

He said they originally thought the Summit Plaza,1500 N. Superior St., which is also the Greater Toledo YMCA, would serve as a back-up location since it was used for early voting in 2013 but they learned about two weeks ago that the site was not available.

The elections board also approved the hiring of two full-time and one part-time employee during the meeting.

Ms. Kaczala moved from her position as administrative assistant to director of the election board earlier this month.

Edmund Feeny will be paid nearly $46,000 annually to replace her as the new administrative assistant for the board. According to his resume, Mr. Feeny has a masters of business administration from Bowling Green State University and worked as a poll worker at the early vote center.

Gina Kaczala Gina Kaczala
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Dora Anderson, with a background in bookkeeping, will fill a campaign finance position. She will be paid about $33,000 annually to process campaign finance reports from the candidates and parties.

Marty Limmer, who retired from the position of information services manager, will be rehired on an as-needed basis to fill the role that was vacated by Noel Hahn, who resigned from his position last week.

Mr. Limmer’s employment was a point of contention for Mr. Stainbrook. He alleged that in 2009, while Mr. Limmer was a full-time employee, he was involved in a lawsuit concerning employees deleting emails that were part of a public-records request.

“When you have a guy who has withheld information in the past you cannot trust this person,” Mr. Stainbrook said.

Ms. Kaczala and Mr. DeAngelis dismissed Mr. Stainbrook’s claims and said he is upset that his friend and ally, Mr. Hahn, is being replaced.

“Why didn’t he [Stainbrook] raise these issues before? Mr. Limmer has been here a long time,” said Mr. DeAngelis.

Contact Marlene Harris-Taylor Marlene Harris-Taylor at: mtaylor@theblade.com or 419-724-6091.



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