Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted will decide whether 39 Hamilton County residents who cast more than one vote in the 2012 election should be reviewed by the the prosecutor’s office. Voter fraud is a felony crime in Ohio. So far six people have been charged in Hamilton County on voting-fraud related charges. Husted, a Republican, will be needed to break a tie after the county’s Elections’ Board split 2-2 along party lines Wednesday over whether the cases needed prosecutor review. The Democratic board members said more review isn’t needed and Republicans said the board didn’t have enough information to know if a crime had been committed.
Among the 39 cases sent to Husted for a decision is the case of Bella Lipavsky. The 64-year-old Kenwood woman, who immigrated from Russia, told the Enquirer she thought she made a mistake on her absentee ballot and when she asked board of elections officials what to do they told her to cast a provisional vote.
Those are 39 out of 62 anomaly votes discovered in the election, which saw 421,997 Hamilton County residents vote.
“For us to put a cloud over their head is just wrong,” said Tim Burke, chairman of the Board of Elections and the county’s Democratic Party Chairman. “There are certainly more problems than anticipated. But at what point are we discouraging people …from doing what the law allows them do – vote provisionally – for the purpose of making sure their vote counted.”