The 41st President accompanied by his two best friends -- Jim Baker and Sully -- discharging his civic duty and voting. This was his last public appearance. Please remember him in your prayers.
Seneca County Republican Party
Wednesday luncheon
Wednesday is our last monthly luncheon of the year. Please join us December 12 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm in the back room at Fort Ball Pizza, 91 N. Washington St., Tiffin. You can come and go as your schedule permits. It's only $5.99 plus beverage, tax, and tip for all you can eat pizza, pasta, and salad bar. The next dates are January 9, February 13, and March 13. Everyone is welcome.
save the date March 1
Save the date of Friday, March 1, 2019 for our annual Lincoln Day Dinner. We will have Congressman Jim Jordan as our speaker. It will be at the Neeley Center on the campus of Terra State in Fremont. The dinner will be co-sponsored with the Sandusky and Ottawa County Republican Parties. More details will be announced as they become available, but mark your calendar today. This is a public event, and everyone is welcome to join us.
new voting equipment
The Board of Elections has selected the ExpressVote system from ES&S for use in Seneca County elections beginning in May. It was demonstrated at a public meeting in September. Here is a short video explaining how it works. Step 5 will be different, since you will insert your printed ballot back into the ExpressVote, not a separate tabulator.
save two more dates
The Central Committee met a few days ago and decided to have separate meetings to vote on two upcoming appointments. The Executive Committee will meet on Thursday, January 3 at 7:00 pm at the Public Safety Building at the fairgrounds to make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for the Board of Elections seat currently held by Mike Bridinger. The Central Committee will meet on Thursday, February 7 at 7:00 pm at a location to be announced to appoint a new county treasurer.

Some committee members asked if they could vote by phone or proxy. I consulted county prosecuting attorney Derek DeVine, who sent this note:

“Ohio Revised Code Section 121.22(C) states in relevant part:
“All meetings of any public body are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times. A member of a public body shall be present in person at a meeting open to the public to be considered present or to vote at the meeting and for purposes of determining whether a quorum is present at the meeting.”
I am unaware of any applicable exception this statute. I hope this answers your question regarding the meeting to appoint the successor to Mr. Alt.
Derek W. DeVine”

Commissioner Holly Stacy wrote a letter about multiple candidates for the same office. Here it is verbatim:
November 28, 2018
H.M. Stacy
Pleasant Twp.
Elected or Appointed Political Position Proposal

Mr. Chairman and Fellow Republican Central Committee Members:

In accordance with the ByLaws of the Seneca County Republican Central Committee & Executive Committee, under Article 1, Section F. ELECTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS; item 1 outlines the procedure in the event of a vacancy for advertisement of the vacancy and meeting to fill the vacancy. Under item 2, the procedures for this committee to follow, if there are more than ten (10) persons seeking the appointment. Which requires a meeting of the Central Committee one week prior to the final determination and selection meeting to conduct a screening process to reduce the number of applicants to five (5).

Mr Chairman, I would like to propose that in the event we have more than 2, but less than 10, candidates seeking the appointment, by a deadline stated in the published advertisements required in the bylaws, that we convene a similar screening process via naming a Screening Committee for such purpose. The purpose of utilizing a screening committee would be to vet the candidates by members of this committee. The Screening committee could be required to report at the selection meeting a summary of their review, not to make a recommendation. This allows for a careful review of the qualifications and suitability of the candidates.

The Screening committee should be headed by an officer of this committee without conflict to the position via being a candidate or otherwise; that officer should select three additional committee members and one outside active Republican in the county to be part of the committee, with
consideration to someone with appropriate background to generate questions applicable to the responsibilities of the position to be filled.

This process is important and needs to be handled carefully and warrants careful consideration. Like any company or organization hiring an employee, it is important to vet the candidates and a two-step interview process is warranted. We are making a decision to put an individual into a position on behalf of all registered republican voters, and actually all registered voters, in the county, we need to invest the time to handle this properly.

H.M. Stacy
more information for committee members
There were several questions raised at the committee meeting, so here is information that may help.

Like almost all offices in Ohio, the only legal requirement to be elected or appointed county treasurer is to be a registered voter. There is no requirement that they know how to add and subtract. This also applies to county auditor, state auditor, state treasurer, the board of elections, and many other offices. An 18 year old who registers to vote is immediately qualified to be governor. Knowing how to read and write would help, but it's not required. Only a few offices like county engineer have specific qualifications or other restrictions on candidates before election or appointment.

But for treasurer, there are continuing education requirements, and special provisions for a new treasurer appointed in mid-term. It is detailed in the County Treasurer Manual on pages 3 to 6 (of 279), and in Ohio Revised Code section 321.46. Here they are:

Although the classes are scheduled for the time between the election and the start of the new term, it says “Similar initial education programs may also be provided to any county treasurer who is appointed to fill a vacancy or who is elected at a special election.” It's in Section A. So it is not necessary to wait for the next regularly scheduled classes.

Investment authority is limited in Sections E and F until the education requirements are met. “...this authority is transferred to the county's investment advisory committee until full compliance with the initial education programs is determined by the treasurer of state” and “...shall invest only in the Ohio subdivisions fund pursuant to division (A)(6) of section 135.35 of the Revised Code, in no load money market mutual funds pursuant to division (A)(5) of section 135.35 of the Revised Code, or in time certificates of deposit or savings or deposit accounts...” The authority is transferred back to the treasurer when the classes are completed. The investment advisory committee is on page 265 of the manual (274 of the PDF file).

Several people questioned the need for a special election, since Damon Alt has more than two years left in his term. But there is less than two years for the election date. It is in Ohio Revised Code section 305.02, which I sent out on Monday. Section A says “If a vacancy in the office of county commissioner, prosecuting attorney, county auditor, county treasurer, clerk of the court of common pleas, sheriff, county recorder, county engineer, or coroner occurs more than forty days before the next general election for state and county officers, a successor shall be elected at such election for the unexpired term unless such term expires within one year immediately following the date of such general election.”

Translated, that means the 2019 election does not apply, since it is local offices, not state or county. So the next available election to fill the vacancy is November, 2020. But that is the date for the election for the full term. Therefore, there is no special election for the unexpired term. Whoever the committee appoints will serve until Damon's term ends in September, 2021, although they will need to file as a candidate in December, 2019 if they want to be elected to a full term. Here is the relevant law: .

There was a question about absentee or proxy voting. It is not possible. Section C says “A majority of the members of the central committee present at such meeting may make the appointment.” (See the note from the county prosecutor above.)

I neglected to mention that the Board of Elections seat is selected by the Executive Committee, while the Treasurer is selected by the Central Committee. It is the same membership in Seneca County, but not some other counties.

Here is the specific language about how we can raise and spend money for judicial candidates: “OHIO CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT RULE 4.4 (C) (3) Campaign Solicitations and Contributions.
The campaign committee of a judicial candidate shall not knowingly solicit or receive, directly or indirectly, for any political or personal purpose any of the following: A contribution from a political party unless the contribution is made from a separate fund established by the political party solely to receive donations for judicial candidates and the political party reports on the contribution and expenditure statements filed by the party the name, address, occupation, and employer of each person who contributed to the separate fund established by the political party.”

For anyone concerned about the email that went out Monday, November 26, I would like to point out that I routinely list any and all declared candidates for any appointment. If there are multiple candidates, I list them alphabetically. If you keep the old emails, here are several examples, which I will forward on request.

January 5, 2010 meeting notice
February 15, 2010 sheriff appointment meeting and Lincoln Day attendees
December 4, 2012 four for Board of Elections deputy director - meeting tonight
April 19, 2014 agenda for Saturday appointment to Board of Elections
June 4, 2014 candidates announced for re-organization and appointment

If you have any questions about any of this, do not hesitate to contact me by replying to this email or calling 419-447-7205.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

David W. Koehl
Chairman, Seneca County Republican Party
Member, Seneca County Board of Elections