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Summit elections board won't have off-site for early voting; Husted breaks tie to use board's office

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: August 15, 2012

The Summit County elections board won’t have an off-site for early voting, instead solely offering in-person voting at the board’s Grant Street office.

Secretary of State Jon Husted broke three tie votes by the Summit board on early voting today, rejecting dueling off-site locations suggested by the Republican and Democratic board members.

"The Summit County Board of elections has a large building with ample unallocated or flexible-use space that can easily be re-purposed to accommodate in-person absentee voting," Husted said in his decision.

The Republican board members proposed having early voting at the board or, if Husted favored another location, renting the second floor of the Beacon Journal building in downtown Akron. The Democratic Board members wanted to use the former hhgregg store near Chapel Hill Mall.

Husted didn’t like either spot, saying "neither side in this controversy proposed genuine off-site solutions."

The board’s Democratic members were seeking an off-site for early voting because they think the board’s office is insufficient. The board had long lines and parking issues when early voting was done at the Grant Street office in the 2008 primary.

The early voting decisions were among several Husted made today for the Summit board, which has lately been regularly deadlocking. Husted is required when board’s can’t reach a consensus to cast the deciding vote.

Husted also broke tie votes regarding a hearing that alleged Akron City Council broke election laws with newsletters it published that advocated for and against local and statewide issues. The secretary of state broke a tie vote against sending the issue to the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office and directed the board to forward the matter to the state auditor.

Lastly, Husted broke a tie vote in favor of having public speaking during board meetings. He said the public comment period "may be limited to ensure that the board is able to complete the agenda." He directed the board to "adopt a consistent policy for public speaking" at meetings.



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