Deters' voting address in 2012 to be investigated?

Nov 26, 2013

The chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Elections wants the board to look into whether or not county prosecutor Joe Deters improperly voted in the November 2012 election.

Deters, a Republican whose office has prosecuted voters for illegal voting, voted from his Symmes Township address four months after he and his wife Missy separated and he was living in a downtown condo.

Tim Burke, the Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman and chair of the board of elections, said he will ask that the board look at the matter at a future board meeting.

“What apparently has happened is that Joe Deters’ wife has now filed divorce papers and has said under oath that Joe Deters hasn’t lived in their house since July 2012,’’ Burke said.

“That raises the question of whether or not he was entitled to vote from that address in November 2012,’’ Burke said. “I’ve not made any decision regarding this. What I think we need to do is place this question on a future agenda of the board of elections when all four members are present and talk about what we need to do.”

The board is to meet today, but Republican Alex Triantafilou won’t be able to attend, so Burke said he will raise the issue at a future board meeting.

Deters insists he did nothing wrong.   

“The issue in these kinds of cases is where you intended to return; and after I left our home, I always intended to return there,’’ Deters said.

Deters said he and his wife went through counseling sessions and took a trip to Florida together in an unsuccessful attempt to reconcile.

“When Missy hired a divorce lawyer last spring, I knew I wasn’t going back and I filed a change of address with the board of elections,’’ Deters said.

Deters said he voted in this year’s election from his downtown address.

“I fully complied with the law,’’ Deters said.

Daniel Tokaji, an Ohio State University law professor who specializes in election law, said a section of Ohio Revised Code  says that the place where a married person lives is his home for voting purposes “except that when the spouses have separated and live apart.”