Board:Concernover voterforms, boxes

By D. Anthony Botkin -

The Delaware County Board of Elections has addressed a letter to the Ohio Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaign expressing concerns over the group allegedly misrepresenting itself when placing voter registration forms and boxes in the county.

The board sent a letter to the party stating, “Foremost, we’ve received complaints that some of your staff members have represented themselves as Board of Elections employees while registering voters.”

Karla Herron, director of the Delaware County Board of Elections, said, “It started with phone calls from voters.”

Herron said that someone had called the Board of Elections saying they had concerns about a box and the voter registration forms laying in front of it at the local library earlier this month.

“They wanted to make sure that the Board of Elections got the forms,” she said. “I did everything I could to assure her that as soon as we get in registration forms we try to keep up with them every day.”

Herron said the box hadn’t been approved by officials of the library to be placed there. Also the person who had dropped off the box identified themselves as a Board of Elections representative.

Herron said that the local library is an agency of the board and has gone through training for filling out the voter registration forms. “We’re proud of our agencies,” she said. “Our agencies do a fantastic job.”

The library wasn’t the only place the boxes and forms were placed, Herron said.

“There was a box at the the cheese shop on Sandusky and a box at the Post Office with the Board of Elections name on it,” she said.

Herron said many of the forms received were incomplete or filled out incorrectly. The people trained to take voter registration forms at the board’s agencies make sure the form is complete before the voter leaves the agency, she said.

Deputy Director Josh Pedaline discussed the board’s concerns with a representative of the Ohio Democratic Party.

“We expressed our concerns to a lower-level person who referred it to an attorney,” Pedaline said. “We didn’t want to create confusion.”

The Board of Elections met and voted 3-1 to draft a letter formalizing their concerns. “The letter was well received,” Pedaline said. “It’s not written as you can’t do this and you can’t do that.”

• The letter from the Board of Elections addressed concerns of the staff of the Ohio Democratic Party representing themselves as employees of the board.

• Removing the name of the Board of Elections from the placed boxes.

• The lack of security the boxes provided for the registration forms that contains personal information of the voter.

• Many of the boxes had been placed within government locations that are official voter registration agencies and are overseen by public employees trained to take voter registrations.

• The possibility of of criminal liability for failing to return a registration form to the Board of Elections within 10 days of it being filled out.

Attempts by The Gazette Thursday to reach The Ohio Democratic Party for comment failed.

By D. Anthony Botkin

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.