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Government and Politics

Secretary of state reinstates two suspended county board members
The board members were brought back to help the board meet deadlines for the upcoming election
This story is part of a special series.

Jo Ingles

Secretary of State Jon Husted has temporarily re-instated two Democratic members of the Montgomery County Board of Elections who he suspended last week. The pair violated a directive from Husted last week when they ordered the local elections board to offer weekend voting hours. A hearing officer heard the case earlier this week on whether the two should be fired. In an interview with Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles, Matt McClellan of the Secretary of State’s office explains why Dennis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie were temporarily allowed to go back to doing their jobs.

McClellan on the board members

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“There are some votes that the board has to do to prepare for the presidential election and the secretary wanted to make sure the board could move forward with business.”

“So how long will the temporary reinstatement be in effect?”

“They will be reinstated until the Secretary of State issues a decision.”

“And when will that happen?”

“We are awaiting a report from the hearing officer and once we receive that, the secretary will make a decision. We are hoping it will be before the end of the week.”

“So what kind of things were they doing that were so important that they needed to be temporarily reinstated?”

“Well, the board has to prepare the ballots for the presidential election and they will have to certify that ballot and that needs to be done the first part of next week.”

Both Montgomery County board members say their suspension was unfair because Husted's directive to the boards was unclear on the weekend voting issue.

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