The Lucas County Board of Elections voted today to validate 504 provisional ballots from the Nov. 5 election in the city of Toledo, which could change the outcome of a close race for the sixth at-large seat on Toledo City Council.
Democratic Councilman Adam Martinez narrowly edged out fellow Democrat Larry Sykes for the last of six at-large council seats in the unofficial count reported on Election Night. If Mr. Sykes beats Mr. Martinez by at least 35 votes in the provisional vote count, he would replace Mr. Martinez on council.
Both Mr. Martinez and Mr. Sykes were at the board meeting to keep a close eye on the sometimes-controversial process of validating and counting provisional ballots. Also on hand was independent council candidate Theresa Gabriel who was the fifth highest vote-getter.
In addition to the 504 provisional ballots in Toledo, the board validated 194 provisional ballots from other jurisdictions of Lucas County and threw out 138 ballots as invalid.
Deputy Director Dan DeAngelis said the board staff still has to complete the canvass of the vote, or reconciling the vote totals with the signature books completed in the precincts. He said the votes will be counted and reported on the same day, probably next Monday.
In the same meeting today, Meghan Gallagher, the Republican director of the Lucas County Board of Elections, requested the board to oversee a meeting between her and Mr. DeAngelis, a Democrat, to discuss the board’s budget, including $68,000 in unpaid invoices.
Democratic board Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler refused to agree to set up a meeting, instead telling Ms. Gallagher that the board expects a recommendation at its December meeting on whether to request additional funds from the Lucas County Board of Commissioners.
Ms. Gallagher provided copies of eight emails written to Mr. DeAngelis since June 18 requesting that he meet with her to plan the board's 2014 budget, but she said Mr. DeAngelis has never agreed to a meeting. The two have adjoining offices and are paid more than $80,000 a year.
"I am asking one or two board members to sit down with Dan and [me]," Ms. Gallagher said. "I have tried on numerous occasions to meet with the deputy director on the budget."
Mr. DeAngelis said after the board meeting that he was not unwilling to meet with Ms. Gallagher but that “the issue is timing," and that he has met with the county's budget director, Kelly Roberts.