GOP OKs elections member renewal

Seneca County Republican Executive and Central committees recommended Janet Leahy remain in her position on the Seneca County Board of Elections during a meeting Wednesday.

Leahy has spent 25 years at the Board of Elections, working as a clerk, the Republican director and a member of the board.

Fifteen of the 20 members present voted for Leahy.

Paulette Miller also was nominated from the floor for the position.

Ohio Secretary of State John Husted is to make the final decision on the appointment after considering the party’s recommendation.

The committee also discussed changes to its bylaws. The issue of voting by secret ballot for a public office came into question regarding the Tiffin City Council appointment by the committee last month.

The Ohio Revised Code states a committee cannot conduct a secret ballot vote in a public or executive session for a public seat.

Chairman Dave Koehl said an official opinion from Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine was published in 2011 declaring the secret ballot vote illegal.

Up until now, Koehl said many Republican and Democratic committees were unaware of the change.

The committee also discussed where the recommendation for the Board of Elections fell in regard to a public office or an internal affair. As it was directly related to a government matter, the committee considered the recommendation as a public office and voted publicly on the issue.

Paul Vaughn outlined in the bylaws committee report what areas needed to be changed, including the change concerning the secret ballot vote, notices for meetings, the secretary’s duties and expenditure limits.

The committee maintains the right to discuss the appointment of a public official within the executive session and hold secret ballot votes for internal affairs.

All motions were approved. The committee validated the action of appointing Rich Focht to Tiffin City Council at the last meeting.

Nathan Somers also presented a proposal to build a website for the committee. The committee would have the opportunity to decide the domain and set up of the website. The committee allowed officers to look into creating and making final decisions regarding the website.

Ohio Republican Party Northwest Regional Director Brian Bauman asked the committee to consider signing up to become a grassroots precinct leader. He said the organization would help to recruit other volunteers at a local level and allow local individuals to communicate with campaigns about the precinct.

For more information or to sign up, visit

The committee also heard from State Central Committee candidates Charles Knight, Nelson E. Hack, Lisa Cooper and Paulette Miller.