The top Ohio elections official, a Republican, has suspended two Democratic elections board members as the state’s regular, bitter battles over voting procedures intensify. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, after setting a uniform standard for early voting hours across the state on Wednesday, is facing a revolt from some Democratic elections board members, who had voted against complying with the new rule. In response to the move by two Montgomery County Democrats, Husted suspended them this afternoon, writing to Thomas Ritchie Sr. and Dennis Lieberman, “[Y]ou are hereby suspended from acting in any official capacity as a member of the montgomery County Board of Elections.” He also set a hearing for Monday on the two men’s permanent removal from the board.On Wednesday, Husted had issued a directive that his office says stopped county boards of elections from allowing weekend early voting hours within their counties, but this morning the Democratic members of the Montgomery County Board of Elections ignored the directive, claiming the directive only set a minimum, and voted to allow it.
The county boards of elections, however, consist of two Republicans and two Democrats, so the vote was a deadlock. And, though the Secretary of State breaks any tie votes of the boards under Ohio law, his office instead headed for confrontation. Elections director Matthew Damschroder sent a letter to the county board, demanding that it “reconvene this afternoon, no later than 3 p.m., to rescind the motion that resulted in a tie this morning.” He continued: “Failure to act consistent with and voting in contravention of a Directive is at best nonfeasance and subjects a Board member to possible removal.”
Full Article: Ohio Elections Chief Suspends Democrats From County Board.