Lucas County elections officials are blaming a technical glitch for switching the party registrations of as many as 167 voters, including Democratic Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates and Republican Toledo Municipal Judge Tim Kuhlman, to the Green Party. Sean Nestor, a sharp-eyed local political analyst and candidate of the Green Party, checked out a filing on the Ohio Secretary of State‘s Web site and spotted that a disproportionate number of people pulled ballots in the May 6 for the Green Party, which espouses progressive, pro-environmental policies. Mr. Nestor, who ran unsuccessfully as a Green candidate for Toledo City Council in 2013, noticed that most of the new converts were in South Toledo precincts 16G and 16H. Both of those precincts voted at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School. Of the 167 supposed Green voters, 125 voted Republican and 10 voted Democratic in the 2012 primary.
“I‘m kind of amazed this happened,” Mr. Nestor said, adding that it should not come as a surprise given the recent history of the Lucas County Board of Elections, which has been described as dysfunctional by Secretary of State Jon Husted.
Lucas County Elections Director Gina Kaczala said a mistake was most likely made when the polling books were “wanded” as part of the vote-canvassing process, which occurred between the election and May 27. She said the board will fix the mistakes.
She said the Ohio Secretary of State knows those kinds of mistakes happen. She said the mistakes would have come to light in an audit comparing the precinct books, which are signed by voters, with the voter file sent to the Secretary of State.
“Every single year this happens. It‘s nothing new,” said Ms. Kaczala, who took over as election director March 4. “They’ve got these little tiny wands. If you‘re pointing it at the wrong lines, that’s why they give you until June 20.