Elections Board Members Accept Cranley's Apology For Campaigning In Polling Place
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley has apologized for openly campaigning for the Cincinnati Parks levy inside a polling place on election day.
And the two leaders of the Hamilton County Board of Elections, one Democrat and one Republican, say they are satisfied with his apology.
A complaint was filed with the board of elections by poll worker Mary Siegel of the Ohio Voter Integrity Project. She says Cranley entered the polling place at the Urban League office in Avondale and twice shouted, “Vote yes on Issue 22.”
Campaigning within 100 feet of a polling place is a violation of Ohio law.
Siegel’s complaint said that she hopes the board will “formally investigate this incident to determine the extent of the mayor’s unlawful actions.”
But, Thursday afternoon, after Cranley’s apology, it did not seem the board was inclined to do that.
“Although I was in the polling place for less than a few minutes to check on voter turnout, I mistakenly mentioned my support for Issue 22,’’ the Democratic mayor said in a written statement. “That was an error in judgment which won’t be repeated.”
Issue 22 was a one-mill permanent levy for the Cincinnati parks. The levy, which was pushed hard by Cranley, was soundly defeated, with 59 percent of city voters casting “no” ballots.
Elections board chairman Tim Burke, who also heads the county Democratic Party, said “these kind of things happen every year in polling places and you just get it resolved to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s not the kind of thing that should go to the prosecutor.”
Republican board member Alex Triantafilou, who chairs the county GOP, said he was satisfied that the matter is closed.
“I accept his apology and I hope it sends a signal to all others that this sort of thing shouldn’t happen inside our polling places,’’ Triantafilou said.