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Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted on Thursday decided to let the fractious Lucas County Board of Elections select a new early voting location for Lucas County rather than break six tie votes.
The politically split board deadlocked Aug. 6 on the six possible locations.
Mr. Husted said in a letter to the three sitting board members that he is required to break all tie votes. But because the board is going through a change in membership, he asked them to restart the discussion, agree on a location, and have it running by Oct. 2. The board tied on six possible locations.
Three sites suggested by the Democrats were the former Xerox Building, 801 Washington St.; the Toledo Business Technology Center, 1946 N. 13th St., and the EMS Training Center, 2127 Jefferson Ave, while Republicans proposed the Lucas County Recreation Center, 2901 Key St., Maumee; the former Toledo Police station at 2328 W. Sylvania Ave., and Government Center downtown.
The four-member board has a vacancy because Democratic board member Keila Cosme was hired Aug. 28 as an administrator at the Lucas County Child Support Enforcement Agency. County Democratic Party Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler said he will nominate longtime Democratic operative John Irish at a meeting of the party's executive committee Sept. 12.
The tie votes on the early vote center are part of the turmoil on the board that recently caused Mr. Husted to take a direct role in day-to-day operations of the agency.
Democrats say they want an early-voting center that is downtown so as to provide a central location and ease of access via public transportation. Republicans say a downtown location is more centrally located to Democratic voters than Republican voters.
The early-voting center must be open for business Oct. 2.