Board no stranger to removals


Lucas County Board of Elections members resigning under quiet pressure from the secretary of state, and elections directors quitting or being fired by the elections board has happened often in the history of the local board.

Less frequent are instances of the secretary of state intervening to directly remove board members and staffers.

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In April, 2004, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell asked for the resignations of the four board members because of problems in the previous November election, and said if they didn’t resign they’d be fired.

Republican members Sam Thurber and Bernadette Noe resigned two days later, while blasting the report on the November, 2003, election as inaccurate and biased.

Democrats Paula Ross and Diane Brown resigned within two months.

In March, 2011, Secretary of State Jon Husted ordered the Lucas County Board of Elections to fire its director and deputy director, Democrat Linda Howe and Republican Jeremy Demagall, because they had counted 114 provisional ballots in violation of a secretary of state’s directive.

Sometimes the secretary of state’s attempt to remove board members or staffers is unsuccessful.

In September, 2011, Secretary Husted requested that Ron Rothenbuhler, chairman of the Lucas County Democratic Party, step down from the elections board.

Mr. Rothenbuhler refused.