Thursday, Jun 30, 2016
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Politics

Last race in Lucas County is recounted

Officials waiting to hear about posts

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Gina Kaczala, director of the Lucas County Board of Elections, has been under fire from the secretary of state.

THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY
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The Lucas County Board of Elections signed off on the automatic recount of an Oregon precinct committee race Tuesday, tying up the last loose end from the May 6 elections, while carefully steering clear of the partisan rancor that has brought the board under the oversight of the secretary of state.

The contest for Republican county central committee member in Oregon Precinct 4 was tied at 18 votes between Kathleen Ondrus and Ross Ball. The election had previously been decided in favor of Mr. Ball by drawing lots, as prescribed by state law. State law also required the board to recount the votes Tuesday.

Three of the board members and Director Gina Kaczala were still waiting to hear whether they will be removed from their posts by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who cited a record of dysfunction and neglect of duty when he issued a tentative decision to remove board members Ron Rothenbuhler, Jon Stainbrook, and Tony DeGidio and Ms. Kaczala.

Matt McClellan, a spokesman for Mr. Husted, said he had not yet received the report of a hearing officer who heard testimony on the Lucas County board’s situation.

Board members also asked Ms. Kaczala about a Blade report Tuesday that 167 voters may have been erroneously identified in a report to the secretary of state as having voted ballots of the Green Party.

Ms. Kaczala told them that the mistake would have turned up in a planned audit of the pollworkers’ books from the May 6 election and that Mr. Husted had given county boards until June 20 to correct such errors.

Ms. Kaczala said the source of the error would be traced. If it is found that a seasonal employee had made a large number of mistakes that employee would not be hired for future elections work.

All 167 Green voters were recorded at two precincts, which voted at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church in Ward 16 in South Toledo.

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

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