The war of words over the future of mass-mailed ballot applications in Cuyahoga County continues. On his personal blog, State Auditor Dave Yost has a post called “The Wreck of the Edward FitzGerald.” He is saber-rattling over Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald’s plan to continue mass mailing ballot applications to all registered voters in Cuyahoga County.
Secretary of State Jon Husted banned such mailing by boards of elections because most could not afford them and he insisted on uniformity of election procedures. FitzGerald countered with a plan to have the county, not the election board, pay for and handle the mailings. That cost is likely to be about $330,000. After lots of angry words, Husted said he would not block FitzGerald’s plan.
But now Auditor Yost says he told FitzGerald, “if (you) spend money without any authority to do so, next years’ (audit) finding could include a large finding for recovery.”
He continued, “By his actions, Mr. FitzGerald has declared he is his own law…that way lies lawlessness that has marked the courthouse there in recent years and a blemish on the career of a man who began by cleaning up and trimming down Cuyahoga County government.”
FitzGerald told Channel 3’s Tom Beres, “I think there’s going to be a legal challenge…I think there are some people who think it benefits them politically by creating confusion.”
FitzGerald said he is assembling a team of volunteer lawyers with expertise in election law to be ready for a possible lawsuit.