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Political Scientist Says Summit County Board of Elections Conflict Likely Not Political

Summit County Board of Elections
Jon Nungesser
In his decision to place the Summit Count Board of Elections under administrative oversight, Sec. of State Frank LaRose cites several factors surrounding the 2020 election.

Summit County's elections board meets tomorrow to reorganize after Sec. of State Frank LaRose declined to reappoint the board chairman, who is also a Republican. The move comes after LaRose placed the board under closer scrutiny.

Steve Brooks is associate director of the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron. He doesn’t see the actions as overtly political. Instead, with secretaries of state under fire around the country, he says LaRose is receiving more attention for simply carrying out the office’s duties.

Brooks on the Summit BOE
Brooks: the role of secretary of state

“Something goes wrong, the secretary of state takes care of it, and none of us looks askew at it one way or the other. I think that’s what we want, and I think that’s—until recently—what we’ve always had,” Brooks said.

In his decision, LaRose said the board removed non-incarcerated felons from the voter rolls, allowed deceased voters to stay on the books, and failed to heed his warnings about increased absentee voting.

Along with the moves here, he also declined to reappoint board members in Lorain, Vinton, and Hocking counties for issues related to last year’s election.

The board meets at 4 p.m. Friday, and the meeting can be viewed at http://www.facebook.com/summitcountyboe.

LaRose’s letter is available below:

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.