Former State Senator Kevin Coughlin has filed his designation of who his campaign treasurer will be as he appeals an earlier Summit County Elections Board decision to not allow him to run as a non-partisan candidate for Stow Municipal Clerk of Court.

Elections Director Joe Masich confirms Coughlin filed the paperwork Wednesday morning.

The Summit County Board of Elections was looking into whether Coughlin was violating election rules by not having a local campaign committee or treasurer.

Masich tells AkronNewsNow " They were questioning because they know he's had campaign activity since he filed his nominating petitions back in May. They were questioning how all that could be transpiring without any designation of treasurer being filed here at the Board.

Masich says the Board is waiting for more input before making any further decisions on the Coughlin campaign. " The Board had inquired of the prosecutor's office what action we could or should take based on the information we had. We would proceed from there, hold a hearing and refer any findings to the elections commission, and it would go from there."

Coughlin is continuing his campaign while he fights the ruling in court. He still has a committee formed and on file with the Secretary of State from when he held other offices.

Previous Coverage

The Summit County Board of Elections is looking into whether former State Sen. Kevin Coughlin is violating election rules by not having a local campaign committee or treasurer.

Coughlin was ruled off the ballot as an independent for Stow Municipal Court Clerk but is continuing his campaign while he fights the ruling in court. He still has a committee formed and on file with the Ohio Secretary of State from when he held other offices.

He tells The Beacon Journal he'll file the Summit County paperwork if he's put back on the ballot.

On the Web:

Published in Local
Monday, 15 July 2013 16:27

Coughlin Clerk Bid Denied

Another battle royale brewing in Summit County, this time between Republican factions but Democrats also have their fingers in the pie. The County's Board of Elections today dumped former State Senator Kevin Coughlin's petitions for Stow Municipal Court Clerk, because he was running non-partisan. The Board is allowing incumbent Judge Kim Hoover to run as non-partisan, saying there's a difference between judge and clerk positions. Coughlin's promising a court fight.

In a statement, Coughlin said "...both local political parties banded together to deny my legal right to run for Clerk of Courts. They may be afraid to face me on Election Day, but they cannot deny my basic rights. In voting to reject my petitions to run, the members of the Summit County Board of Elections abused their power and disregarded the law."

"This issue is far from over. I will immediately seek a court order forcing the Board of Elections to certify my petitions," Coughlin said. "In addition, those who abused their power and ignored the law will be held to account. My campaign for Clerk of Courts will continue on without interruption while this matter is resolved."

Published in Local

Five local candidates have been disqualified from the September primary election ballot in Akron.

Ward 5 candidate Natural Hunka Kaboom was ruled off the ballot as a candidate in Ward 5 because of an insufficient number of signatures.

Other candidates disqualified for the same reason were Mike Adams, another Ward 5 democratic candidate, Michael Rogers in Ward 6, Keith John Elrod in Ward 9 and, Michelle Baker, a candidate for council-at large in Cuyahoga Falls by the Summit County Elections Board at its meeting Monday.

Robert DeVitis, a Republican candidate for Ward 2 in Akron , withdrew before the board meeting.

The disqualifications will mean that some candidates who had primary opposition now have none. Councilman Jim Hurley will be unopposed in Ward 2 and two Republican incumbents, Jeff Iula and Carol Ann Klinger, will not be challenged for their at-large seats in Cuyahoga Falls.

Published in Local

The Supreme Court has struck down an Arizona law requiring voters to show proof of citizenship when registering to vote.

Ohio does not have such a law, but voters in Ohio have to affirm that they are U.S. citizens when registering.

Summit County elections director Joe Masich says that means those who answer "yes" fraudulently could be charged under the Ohio Revised Code.

"On the voter registration form," Masich tells, "you sign a statement at the end, where you sign your signature on your the registration form, that you declare under penalty of falsification that I am a citizen of the United States." 

Masich says local elections officials, if they discover or are notified of possible fraud, would bring it to the attention of prosecutors.

Published in Local
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 19:35

May Special Election Results

A number of Summit County voters had something to vote on today, and the votes are now all in in Summit and Portage Counties.

The May 7 ballot featured a number of school issues, including levy requests in the Barberton, Coventry, Cuyahoga Falls, Manchester, and Mogadore districts.

Winners include Barberton, which passed a 8.45 mill additional emergency levy that superintendent Patty Cleary says will forestall possible cuts in elementary art and music programs, end the possible doubling of pay to participate fees, and which will restore busing to a 1-mile radius in the district starting next school year. Buses in the Barberton district were picking up students 2-miles from school under state minimum guidelines.

Efforts to get an issue passed in Coventry finally bore fruit; an additional six-mill levy will help consolidate schools and go toward building a new high school. The measure passed by a comfortable 11 percentage point margin.

Voters in the Manchester district passed a 9.8 mill renewal levy.

Cuyahoga Falls voters rejected a 3 mill additional levy that school superintendent Dr. Todd Nichols tells AkronNewsNow would have increased safety, security and technology in the district and updated school buses. Dr. Nichols says he's "disappointed" with the final, unofficial returns, which have voters rejecting the levy by a 57 to 43 percent margin.

The final, unofficial returns showed Mogadore's levy going down to defeat, with voters in both Summit and Portage Counties rejecting the 5.9 mill additional levy by a vote of 350 to 252.

In Portage County, returns show Kent City Schools' additional levy winning with about 61% of the vote.

The final, unofficial results from the Summit County Board of Elections and the Portage County Board of Elections are shown below.


SUMMARY REPORT        2013 Special Election            Final Unofficial
Run Date:05/07/13     Summit County
RUN TIME:09:27 PM     May 7, 2013

                                                       VOTES PERCENT

           PRECINCTS COUNTED (OF 67) .  .  .  .  .        67  100.00
           REGISTERED VOTERS - TOTAL .  .  .  .  .    72,965
           BALLOTS CAST - TOTAL.  .  .  .  .  .  .    14,228
           VOTER TURNOUT - TOTAL  .  .  .  .  .  .             19.50

          Issue 1 - City of Macedonia
          Proposed Tax Levy - (Renewal) 1 mil, Fire, 5 years
          (Vote for Not More Than )  1
              (WITH 6 OF 6 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
           FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .       412   79.54
           AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .       106   20.46

          Issue 2 - Village of Reminderville
          Proposed Tax Levy - (Replace) 3 mil, Road, 5 years
          (Vote for Not More Than )  1
              (WITH 2 OF 2 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
           FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .        36   57.14
           AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .        27   42.86

          Issue 3 - Barberton CSD
          Proposed Tax Levy - (Add) - 8.45 mil, Emergency, 5 yrs
          (Vote for Not More Than )  1
              (WITH 15 OF 15 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
           FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     2,378   54.63
           AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .     1,975   45.37

          Issue 4 - Cuyahoga Falls CSD
          Proposed Tax Levy - (Add) - Improvements, 3 mil, 5 years
          (Vote for Not More Than )  1
              (WITH 26 OF 26 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
           AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .     2,091   57.22
           FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     1,563   42.78

          Issue 5 - Coventry LSD
          Bond/Tax Issue - (Add) - 6 mil total, Const, 34 years
          (Vote for Not More Than )  1
              (WITH 15 OF 15 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
           FOR THE BOND ISSUE AND LEVY  .  .  .  .     2,184   55.22
           AGAINST THE BOND ISSUE AND LEVY .  .  .     1,771   44.78

          Issue 6 - Manchester LSD
          Proposed Tax Levy - (Renewal) - 9.8 mil, Cur. Exp., Cont
          (Vote for Not More Than )  1
              (WITH 6 OF 6 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
           FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .       711   72.04
           AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .       276   27.96

          Issue 7 - Mogadore LSD
          Proposed Tax Levy - (Add) - 5.9 mil, Cur. Exp., Cont.
          (Vote for Not More Than )  1
              (WITH 2 OF 2 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
           AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .       337   57.41
           FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .       250   42.59

          Issue 8 - Canal Fulton Library
          Proposed Tax Levy - (Add) - 1 mil, Cur. Exp., Continuing
          (Vote for Not More Than )  1
              (WITH 5 OF 5 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
           AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .        69   63.30
           FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .        40   36.70


Election Summary Report
Portage County, Ohio
Primary / Special Election
May 7, 2013
Summary For Jurisdiction Wide, All Counters, Election Results
Portage County's Unofficial Canvass
Final Report


Registered Voters 102190 - Cards Cast 9066 8.87% Num. Report Precinct 123 - Num. Reporting 123 100.00%

Ravenna Council Ward 1 NP  
Number of Precincts   2  
Precincts Reporting   2 100.0%
Times Counted   212/1470 14.4%
Total Votes   212  

Steven R. Bailey   77 36.32%
Michael LaCivita, Jr   31 14.62%
Sharon Spencer   104 49.06%

Kent City Council At Large DEM  
Number of Precincts   21  
Precincts Reporting   21 100.0%
Times Counted   1627/1227 132.6%
Total Votes   3474  

Michael A. DeLeone   915 26.34%
Melissa M. Long   740 21.30%
Roger B. Sidoti   1121 32.27%
Robin G. Turner   698 20.09%

Issue 1 - Portage County Health District (Replacement)    
Number of Precincts   100  
Precincts Reporting   100 100.0%
Times Counted   6357/83497 7.6%
Total Votes   6301  

FOR THE TAX LEVY   3523 55.91%
AGAINST THE TAX LEVY   2778 44.09%

Issue 2 - Local Option Kent 5A    
Number of Precincts   1  
Precincts Reporting   1 100.0%
Times Counted   75/577 13.0%
Total Votes   71  

YES   61 85.92%
NO   10 14.08%

Issue 3 - Aurora City (Additional)    
Number of Precincts   14  
Precincts Reporting   14 100.0%
Times Counted   1034/11697 8.8%
Total Votes   1028  

FOR THE TAX LEVY   361 35.12%

Issue 4 - Windham Village (Income Tax Increase)    
Number of Precincts   2  
Precincts Reporting   2 100.0%
Times Counted   170/1284 13.2%
Total Votes   170  


Issue 5 - Hiram Township (Replacement)    
Number of Precincts   2  
Precincts Reporting   2 100.0%
Times Counted   190/1828 10.4%
Total Votes   188  

FOR THE TAX LEVY   154 81.91%

Issue 6 - Paris Township (Additional)    
Number of Precincts   2  
Precincts Reporting   2 100.0%
Times Counted   110/1177 9.3%
Total Votes   108  

FOR THE TAX LEVY   53 49.07%

Issue 8 - Kent City SD (Additional)    
Number of Precincts   29  
Precincts Reporting   29 100.0%
Times Counted   3625/21380 17.0%
Total Votes   3608  

FOR THE TAX LEVY   2201 61.00%
AGAINST THE TAX LEVY   1407 39.00%

Issue 9 - Mogadore Local SD (Additional)    
Number of Precincts   2  
Precincts Reporting   2 100.0%
Times Counted   318/929 34.2%
Total Votes   318  

FOR THE TAX LEVY   117 36.79%


Published in Local
Tuesday, 02 April 2013 12:54

Late Judge's Finance Report Questioned

The Summit County Board of Elections wants answers about the still-open campaign fund of the late Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Brenda Burnham Unruh, who died in 2011.

As long as a campaign committee exists, state law mandates that campaign finance reports be filed, regardless of activity between election cycles and regardless of whether the candidate or office holder is still alive.

"The treasurer - not the candidate, not the committee - the treasurer is the one legally responsible for all documents filed with the board of elections," said Elections Director Joe Masich.

A hearing held today produced no answers.  In fact, it may have become more complicated when Keep Judge Brenda Burnham Unruh Committee Treasurer Scott Gale told the board that he was never given signature rights on the committee's bank account.  That's a problem because the board needs the bank records to conduct an audit on the account before it can be terminated.  According to Gale, Uhruh's widower is unaware of any bank statements or other documents.  Gale can't access them.  Nobody seems to know where to find the former treasurer (who could possibly access the account). 

"They never perfected the bank documents to have him (Gale) any signatory control at the bank," said Masich.  "Apparently, just the judge and maybe her previous treasurer were signatories on the account."

Unruh asked Gale to be the treasurer in 2008, the last year she ran for office.  According to the board of elections website, Gale filed forms in 2011 and in 2012, about nine month's after Unruh's death.  At that time, there was $998 left in the campaign account.  Gale told the board today that exorbitant inactivity fees have probably reduced that amount significantly; however, his figures show that the balance actually increased about $200 from 2010 to 2011 even though there is no indication of contributions.

The board, notorious for tie votes that must be settled by the secretary of state, offered another decision to Jon Husted today.  The board is divided over whether they should subpoena the account records from US Bank.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 13:54

Husted: It's Grant Street

The tie vote over where early voting takes place in Summit County is resolved.

At least, until the next Summit County Board of Elections meeting takes place.

Democrats and Republicans on the Board of Elections couldn't agree on a site; locations included the former H.H. Gregg store in Chapel Hill, the Beacon Journal building or the Board's offices on Grant Street.

Secretary of State Jon Husted made the decision; early voting will be held at the Elections offices on Grant Street, and told the Board to work with neighboring businesses to secure more parking.

In other decisions, Husted broke tie votes and ordered public comments to be permitted at Board of Election meetings; they'll have to figure out the rules.

Husted also voted to forward concerns over Akron City Council's use of government-paid for newsletters to the State Auditor. Republicans objected to the city-funded communications being used to advocate for ballot issues but state law treats government agencies operating under their own charter, such as the City of Akron, differently than other government bodies. Husted decided the legality is a question better answered by the Auditor's office.

Husted's decisions are in .pdf form at the bottom of this page.

Published in Local
Friday, 27 July 2012 12:17

More Money For Elections Board

Summit County Council is expected to vote Monday on a $1.4-million appropriation for the Summit County Board of Elections.  If approved, it would hike the board's budget to $6.1 million, much closer to what Director Joe Masich says they need.

"I would feel more comfortable with my request of $6.48 million and a $300,000 contingency," said Masich.  "We're going to do what we can do and we're going to monitor it very closely."

The board spent $7.1 million in 2008, the last presidential election year.  Since then, Summit County Council has been forced to slash budgets across the board.  The elections board originally asked for $9.3 million for 2012.  That request was met with a counter offer of $4.7 million.  The two sides have been haggling over money ever since.  What changed?

"We've provided them with some pretty good detail as to why we need the additional funds as far as man hours and postage costs and things, we've provided them with great detail," said Masich.

Masich says a big election turnout means they need plenty of people on the clock a few weeks in advance, plus other expenses.  Secretary of State Jon Husted is telling county boards of elections to plan on half of the number of people who participated in the 2008 election to vote by mail in the upcoming election.  In Summit County, that means 140,000 people would be requesting ballots and returning them through the mail.  Elections officials say that takes human eyes to process each request by verifying voter registration and making sure all paperwork is correctly completed.


Published in Local
Tuesday, 10 July 2012 09:55

AUDIO UPDATE Vote Plan Raises Hackles

Update 2:00 p.m.

The Summit County Board of Elections tie-voted on three motions related to early in-person voting.  The board voted along party lines as follows:

  • Hold early voting at the board of elections offices (Republican)
  • Hold early voting at the former hhgregg near Chapel Hill Mall (Democrat)
  • Hold early voting at the Beacon Journal building if the county is ordered to hold it off site (Republican)

The tie votes mean that Secretary of State Jon Husted will decide where voters can cast ballots in person, but prior to the general election on November 6. 

Republicans are using budget concerns to back their philosophy, saying that the county isn't willing to offer the funding that they say is necessary to fund the board's operations, even without leasing space for voters.  They refer to a letter from Summit County Executive Russ Pry offering $50,000 to pay for the added expense.  Republican board members call the offer "offensive," stating that Pry is trying to use county funds to micro manage the board of elections.

Democrats say the Republican plan does nothing but disenfranchise voters by making it difficult to participate in in-person absentee voting.  Parking is a concern at the board of elections offices on Grant Street.  The lobby area is not spacious, either.  History is on their side, looking back to the primary election in 2008 when people, at times, were lined up around the building in poor weather conditions waiting for their turn to vote.  Board Chairman Tim Gorbach said during the meeting that holding early voting inside the Beacon Journal building in downtown Akron would be even worse than doing it on Grant Street. 

Listen to Gorbach and Board Member Alex Arshinkoff briefly explain:

Some of the estimated 150 people spoke out during a designated time, but not before more verbal sparring on the board.  Arshinkoff accused Gorbach of setting up the whole thing with "his" people, when Gorbach suggested that the various factions allow a spokesperson to offer testimony.  Arshinkoff said that if one person could speak, then everyone should be given the chance. 

"You can vote in person at your neighborhood poll on election day for 13 hours, absentee ballot (in the mail) or at the board of elections," said one woman.  "Common sense is all we need.  Off site voting is stupid and a waste of money and frivolous."

Numerous people were allowed about a minute to speak (there was some argument over who was keeping the official time).  Judging by the signs that were being held, it would seem the room was divided about evenly, although the number of speakers who approached the podium seemed to favor the Democrats.  The following is a random sample:

"While I understand it's important to save money, I think that spending money in order to enable people who are eligible and want to vote is anything but wasteful," said a Bath Township woman.

The board has two weeks to submit the tie votes (with arguments from each side attached) to Husted for his consideration.


9:00 a.m.

A large crowd gathered at the Summit County Board of Elections meeting this morning where board members are expected to vote on a possible early voting location.

AkronNewsNow's Chris Keppler said many in the room were holding signs urging a vote either in favor and against an off-site location for early voting.

Some of the signs at the meeting said "save our taxpayer dollars" and "stop the BOE wasteful spending."

Keppler said the crowd interrupted the opening of the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance, shouting out the words "for all" at the end.

Board Chairman Tim Gorbach insisted on doing the pledge "right" and led the crowd in a second pledge.

It appears both sides of the issue are represented at the meeting. 

Akron City Council said the need for a off-site voting location is necessary due to the fact that board's offices on Grant Street would present problems with parking and lines.

Previous Coverage:



Published in Local

Akron City Council is asking the Summit County Board of Elections  to establish an early voting location in time for the November election.

Council President Marco Sommerville says that by having a site in place, the voting process would operate more smoothly.

"We want to make sure that when the day of voting comes, that people aren't waiting in long lines to vote,"he said.

"If they were to go to outside voting, it would be better for the general public."

Council passed an ordinance Monday night urging the Board of Elections to establish an early voting location in Akron.

The Summit County Board of Elections expects up to 25,000 voters to cast absentee ballots in-person for the November election.

At-large Councilman Jeff Fusco says a  offsite voting facility is necessary when voter turnout is high.

"It's a presidential year, and typically the amount of people participating is increased."

At Large Councilman Jeff Fusco by Akron NewsNow

In 2008, over 40,000 people voted early on E.Tallmadge Ave, which was located on the site of the Job Center and other county offices.

President Sommerville is confident that the Board will decide in the Council's favor to establish a new early voting location during their monthly meeting Tuesday morning. It is unclear if the Board will approve a new location or direct people to their offices when election time comes around.

"We're confident they'll do the right thing," Sommerville explained.

City Council President Marco Sommerville by Akron NewsNow

The Board of Elections will meet at 9.a.m. at their Grant Street office. 

Council also passed an ordinance congratulating Miami Heat forward and Akron native LeBron James on winning his first NBA Championship.

Published in Local
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