It’s not something you see too often during the election process when the Ohio Secretary of State has to break a tie vote after a county Elections Board comes to a split decision on a matter.
But that’s what happened when Secretary of State Jon Husted recently decided to cast a vote in favor of hiring Democrat Deborah Reiter as Geauga County Elections Board’s new deputy director. Statewide, it was only Husted’s eighth tie-breaking vote this year.
The four-member board had voted 2-2 to hire the Chardon councilwoman after she was nominated by Democratic board members Janet Carson and Dennis Pavella.
Republican board members Edward Ryder and Dorothy Stange voted against the appointment, citing the fact that Reiter did not have previous Election Board experience.
Husted said in his letter to the Elections Board that he was breaking the tie because he saw no reason to prevent Reiter from serving the position.
The secretary of state also reminded board members that tie votes should not be viewed as the preferred method to administer public policy.
He said the board needs to make every effort to resolve matters such as employment and compensation at the local level.
Carson feels the appointment of Reiter represents the new direction the Democratic Party has been moving.
For years, Democrat Arch Kimbrew had been the Elections Board’s director, but the Democratic board members wanted to make a change.
Board members voted to bump up longtime deputy director Republican Roberta Halford to director and Husted then appointed Kimbrew to serve as a temporary deputy director until a decision on that position was made.
For a county not generally to known to make waves when it comes to the election process, this shakeup comes as a dramatic change.
It will be interesting to see how Democrats and Republicans move forward together after the battle for control of the leadership of the agency.
Keep in mind, the board’s chairman or chairwoman has to be from the opposite party of the director, so there was a change there as Carson became chairwoman, succeeding Stange.
Board members say the best way to move forward is to look at the Elections Board as something everyone involved wants to run properly.
We’ll see how that comes to pass especially with a presidential election typically serving as the one that most voters are engaged with as well as the most expensive to conduct.
For candidates and others who would like to submit items for consideration to run in the column, the weekly deadline is each Wednesday at 5 p.m. Email or fax is preferred. Have a fundraiser? Send it in weeks ahead of time.
n David M. Fiebig, candidate for Lake County commissioner, will host a fundraiser with guest U.S. Rep.Steven C. LaTourette, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday at Fiebig’s home in Willoughby Hills. See Joyce Hribar Fiebig or Dale Fellows.
n Willoughby Hills Councilman Kevin Malecek will host his 8th Annual Cinco De Mayo Party, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Willoughby Hills Community Center. See Malecek or Nora Colburn.
n Fundraiser for Judy Moran, candidate for Lake County commissioner, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. May 10 at the Croatian Lodge in Eastlake, See Kathy Russo or Moran.
n Fundraiser for Sharon C. Gingerich, Geauga County recorder, from 6 to 9 p.m. May 10 at Patterson’s Fruit Farm, Orchard Hills Center in Chester Township. See Judy Gallowan.
n Eleventh District Court of Appeals Court Judge Mary Jane Trapp will have a fundraiser from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 16 at the home of Todd and Susan Petersen in Munson Township. See Mike Apicella.
n Lake County Engineer James R. Gills, hosts his 12th Annual Pig Roast with guest state Rep. Ron Young, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. May 16 at the Lake County FOP Hall Pavilion in Concord Township. See Bruce Landeg.
John Arthur Hutchison
Labels: 2012 election, Geauga County Democratic Party, Geauga County Republican Party, Jon Husted, Ohio politics, Ohio Secretary of State, Steve LaTourette