There have been accusations by the board of elections, labeling me as disruptive, incompetent and not a team player. Not only are these stigmas not true they are troubling and contradictory when coupled with the board's show of confidence in me during my employment with the The Hocking County Board of Elections.

The position of Deputy Director of Boards of Elections is an appointed position for a term of two years, an oath is taken to uphold the duties of the office and the law states that this position does not have to be filled.  Most Boards of Elections do fill this position to maintain continuity in the offices and to eliminate bipartisan acts.  Continuity in the Hocking County Board of Elections was fulfilled during the 2004 General Election when the Director of the Hocking County Board of Elections was unable to fulfill her duties.  I, as deputy director was acting director during this magnanimous election.  Our board of elections office was understaffed, as were most of the Ohio Boards of Elections offices.  Our county office staff worked many hours over the 32.5-hour workweek.  I worked 355+ hours of overtime for which I was not monetarily compensated.  Compensatory time is awarded to the director and deputy director for overtime worked.   The Hocking County Board of Elections voted in a meeting in January 2005, that I was to use or lose all compensatory time by June 1, 2005.  Use of compensatory time by the director and deputy director have, in the past, been at the discretion of the director and the deputy director.  The staff of two and myself took great pains and worked many hours to attain an election in Hocking County that would give the voters in this county the confidence in their board of elections.  We did achieve our goals and received accolades from the board members and the public.  Mr. Gerald Robinette, Chairman of the Board, announced in two Democratic meetings that we had performed an outstanding job.

The board members and board staff changed the mood of the office after I exercised my First Amendment by coming forward with an affidavit stating that a TriAd employee dismantled the computer that housed, on its hard drive, the tabulation of votes for Hocking County.  This action by a TriAd employee took place before a statewide recount of the General Election.  The TriAd employee should not have touched the hard drive without the permission and attendance of board members.   The affidavit brought forth national attention and a hearing was scheduled by the board members to hear TriAd’s reason/reasons for their action.  The board found that the TriAd employee did nothing wrong.

As far as upholding the laws that were allegedly broken in the board office – I did inform Mr. Robinette of the director’s use of county time to raise money for her party and the shredding of voter’s records without permission from the board and records that were on the Secretary of State’s Record Retention Schedule.  The director admitted to these offenses in a board meeting held on July 5, 2005.  These offenses are recorded in the board minutes of July 5, 2005, and were reported by The Logan Daily News.  As of this date the board has not taken action on the above misuse of office and the shredding of registered voter’s records.

I am 66 years old and have worked since the age of 15.  My work record, including 13 years with the State of Ohio, is exemplary.   My last position with the state was an appointed position by the governor.  The election of the opposing party’s governor brought about my dismissal.  These dismissals by the opposing party are typical.  This instance is the only time in my life I was dismissed from a position until the unjust dismissal as Deputy Director for the Hocking County Board of Elections on May 19, 2005.

A suit against the Board of Elections is pending in Hocking County Common Pleas Court regarding my dismissal.  This is not something I am enjoying. It is quite costly not only for myself but the county too. I'm using the equity in my home and credit cards to fight this unjust action by the Hocking County Board of Elections.  

My wish is that Hocking County Voters would take an interest in their votes and voter records by attending the Hocking County Board of Elections Meetings.  The board has adopted regular meetings to be held in the Court House board office on the third Thursday of each month at 2:00 PM.  The next meeting is Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 2:00 PM.                         

Sherole L. Eaton
Logan, Ohio