Hamilton County Board of Elections

Hamilton County Commissioners continue to weigh an offer to turn the former Mercy Mount Airy hospital into a new crime lab.

Catholic Health Partners is willing to give the facility to the county for free and the county coroner says the cost to renovate the old hospital would be a lot less than building a whole new crime lab. To make the deal cost effective, however, the county wants to move the Board of Elections out there as well.

Democrats and Republicans on the Hamilton County Board of Elections are split over whether to move their headquarters from downtown to the former Mercy Mount Airy Hospital because of the issue of early in-person voting.

The Democrats on the board - Tim Burke and Caleb Faux - say moving to the Kipling road building would make it extremely hard for voters without cars to get to the board, which has one bus line. Many voters would have to take multiple buses to get to Mount Airy, they say.


Howard Wilkinson

Sixty-two people will be stricken from the Hamilton County voter rolls because they did not respond to a board of elections letter challenging their voting addresses.

They include police officers, people who used postal service and private mail boxes, and some who voted from a motor coach association in Newtown.

The initial report on Hamilton County's facilities needs is in and it paints a picture of aging buildings and deferred maintenance. With some offices bursting at the seams and others only half full, the county is looking at ways to consolidate operations.

One possibility is converting the former Mercy Mt. Airy hospital to hold the coroner, board of elections and some sheriff's offices.

Commissioners Greg Hartmann and Todd Portune  says while this may seem like a good deal, the county needs to keep an eye on costs.

The chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Elections wants the board to look into whether or not county prosecutor Joe Deters improperly voted in the November 2012 election.

Deters, a Republican whose office has prosecuted voters for illegal voting, voted from his Symmes Township address four months after he and his wife Missy separated and he was living in a downtown condo.

Tim Burke, the Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman and chair of the board of elections, said he will ask that the board look at the matter at a future board meeting.

Michael Keating

This week, WVXU Political Reporter Howard Wilkinson talks about Eric Kearney joining Democrat Ed FitzGerald on his gubernatorial ticket.

Sarah Ramsey

An automatic recount is warranted in the race for the ninth and final Cincinnati City Council seat between Republican Amy Murray and Democrat Laure Quinlivan, but it is up to Quinlivan whether the recount will go forward.

In the official count by the Hamilton County Board of Elections done this week, Murray led Quinlivan by 859 votes – within the one-half percent difference that triggers an automatic recount.

But Sally Krisel, the deputy director of the board of elections, said Quinlivan could ask the board not to do the recount.

Hamilton County will pay $883,000 to cover legal fees for Judge Tracie Hunter. That's lower than the $920,514.22 she racked up while suing the Board of Elections and the county's ensuing appeals.

Commission President Chris Monzel says, "We actually got a reduction in the amount based on the promptness of that payment, which helps the taxpayers pay less money. But unfortunately we didn't win the lawsuit and we had to pay."

Fellow Commissioner Todd Portune says the amount is still much higher than it should have been.

The cases of two more voters accused of casting ballots in Ohio while living in other states have been referred by the Hamilton County Board of Elections to the county prosecutor for investigation.

The two are Naomi Lewin, a former classical music host at radio station WGUC, who moved to New York City in 2009 and Timothy A. Merman, who owns a home in Edgewood, Ky., but has voted from a business address in the Cincinnati suburb of Fairfax.

Voting from an improper address is a felony crime.

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