Illegal Hocking County Board Of Elections Member?
Was Hocking County Board of Elections member illegally appointed?
by Bob Fitrakis
May 25, 2005
The battle between Deputy Director Sherole Eaton, a recently fired federal whistleblower, and the Hocking County Board of Elections (BOE) she worked for, is becoming a bare-knuckled political brawl.
The Free Press has learned that Eaton supporters will protest at the Hocking County BOE Thursday, May 26 and plan to allege that Susan Hughes, a Democrat who seconded the motion to fire Eaton, is illegally on the BOE.
During last December’s presidential election recount, Eaton signed a sworn affidavit that a Triad, Inc. voting machine technician came into the BOE without being scheduled and changed out the county’s vote-tabulation computer hard drive. Eaton also claimed that he offered a “cheat sheet” to make sure the recount tally matched the original election results.
The Logan Daily News reported that BOE members privately complained “that Eaton was a disruptive influence in the office.” But, all BOE members “refused to be quoted on the record.”
Eaton supporters plan to allege that Hughes, who retired as a state government worker, was put on the BOE with neither her appointment being made public nor being approved by the Hocking County Democratic Central Committee. If these charges prove true, supporters claim Eaton was illegally fired.
Democratic Hocking County Commissioner Greg Green has already publicly stated that he was concerned “about the county’s liability should a lawsuit arise from the board’s action.”
Eaton told the Free Press that both Ohio Democratic Party Chair Denny White and U.S. Representative Ted Strickland, a gubernatorial candidate, were both monitoring the situation.
Delaware County voting rights activist Paddy Shaffer claims that Eaton has received over 200 phone calls from around the nation and people are sending her flowers.
The Logan Daily News reported that Eaton supporters threatened “ballot box retaliation” at last Thursday evening’s meeting.
As one supporter told the Free Press, “This is a battle between the real Democrats and the Blackwell Democrats.”
At a December 13, 2004 hearing held by House Minority Judicial Committee members in Columbus, Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb stated that a Triad technician “. . . asked which precinct would be counted for the 3% recount test, and the one which had been selected as it had the right number of votes was relayed to him. He [the Triad technician] then went back and did something else to the tabulator computer.”
Cobb went on to testify that, “The source of this report believes that the Triad representative was ‘making the rounds’ of visiting other counties also before the recount.” The Cobb source was later revealed to be Sherole Eaton.
Eaton’s December 13, 2004 affidavit claims that she called Gerald Robbins, the Board Chair and a Democrat, and informed him of the Triad technician’s unexplained swapping of the hard drive. ‘Gerald talked on the phone with Michael [Triad technician] and Michael assured Gerald that he could fix our computer,” Eaton’s affidavit reads.
Voting rights activists charge that Triad was fixing more than the Hocking County computer. They alleged that they first fixed the election and then the recount for George Bush. Exit polls in Ohio showed John Kerry winning the Buckeye state in November. Triad is involved with election systems support in 41 of Ohio’s 88 counties.
Bob Fitrakis is co-editor, with Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, of DID GEORGE W. BUSH STEAL AMERICA'S 2004 ELECTION?, available at www.freepress.org.