Friday, November 28, 2008

Brunner Cuyahoga Board of Elections Director Jane Patten

CLEVELAND — Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner removed Cuyahoga County from administrative oversight Tuesday after being placed on the watch list in March 2007.

Board of Elections Director Jane Patten expected Cuyahoga County to be removed from administrative oversight following the successful, controversy-free Presidential election.

"We had the right policies, the right process and the right voting system in place, and yes, November 4 was a tell-tale sign for me," said Patten.

Jeff Hastings, BOE Chairman, said the county has overcome many obstacles.

"As a board of four individuals who really didn't know each other and a staff that has been completely revamped and new voting equipment, we've really done a lot," said Hastings.

Assistant Secretary Chris Nance helped the Board implement new directives from Secretary Brunner.

"I look forward to continuing to work together and I have faith in the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections' ability to face the ever-changing administrative challenges that lie ahead," said Nance.

Hastings said the announcement was an end to a tumultuous year and a half.

"Unless you're involved with the process, you really can't understand how, frankly, emotional it is to know how far we've come in the last year and a half," said Hastings.

©2008 by ONN.

Brunner sets Cuyahoga board free

Recognizing that Cuyahoga County has stopped embarrassing the state on election night, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner today released the county board of elections from administrative oversight.

Brunner said the change reflects renewed confidence in the leadership of the board during the primary and general elections this year. She ordered the county in early 2008 to scrap its touch-screen voting machines in favor of paper ballots, after elections officials there struggled to explain unexpected server crashes in the 2007 general election and why 20 percent of the vote-verifying paper receipts spit out by the electronic voting machines were unreadable.

In March 2007, Brunner asked all four members of the Cuyahoga elections board to resign. All four complied, though Robert T. Bennett, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, put up an initial fight before agreeing to step down.

“This action I am taking today is a victory for the voters of Cuyahoga County,” Brunner said. The board’s leadership has worked to “provide an elections system that the voters in the county can be confident in while effectively removing partisanship as an ingredient to the board dynamic.”

During administrative oversight, a designation intended to provide support for boards having trouble, Brunner had been in weekly contact with the board via conference calls and other meetings.

“By releasing the board from administrative oversight, I have faith in this boards’ ability to meet the ever-changing challenges of election administration and to provide the best service to voters in Cuyahoga County in the future,” Brunner said.