|No Decision in 2010 Race For Juvenile Court Justice|
|Tuesday, 14 February 2012 10:12|
From Local Cinncinati 12
The race for a seat on Hamilton County Juvenile Court can be described in one word -- disappointment. After 15 months there is still no decision on who will fill the seat.
And despite an attempt today by the Hamilton County Board of Elections to correct the problem,the process remains stalled. The mess begins with provisional ballots - but it's definitely ballooned from there.
After the election 15 months ago, Democrat Traci Hunter trailed Republican John Williams by 23 votes. She sued the Board of Elections - asking that roughly 300 provisional ballots be counted. Since then, the Board of Elections and Hunter have been locked in a legal battle.
Last week a federal judge ruled that the board should count those 300 ballots. Today, the board split on party lines. The Democrats sided with the federal judge - saying she's allowing people to exercise their right to vote. The Republicans countered saying the issues at stake are bigger than this race because Ohio's Supreme Court ruled against counting those ballots - so they're considering this a case of federal law jumping into state business.
Tim Burke says, "What we do here today, is going to impact dozens, hundreds, thousands of races in the future and that's the responsibility that we bear here."
But says Charles Gerhardt, "For me, the basic position is the belief in the right to vote and that's what we ought to be upholding today and we ought to be complying with the judge's decision, not delaying it."
Because the board split the vote on whether to appeal or not, both sides must present their arguments to the Secretary of state later this week. He'll get to cast the tie breaking vote. The secretary has indicated that he will vote to appeal again - that means we may not know who won the race for another year or more.