Brunner says elections officials ready to handle heavy voter turnout by r9bf18j


									Brunner says elections officials ready to
handle heavy voter turnout
By William Hershey
Staff Writer

Thursday, October 30, 2008

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COLUMBUS — Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner wanted to convince Ohio voters
that elections officials are ready to handle a presidential election that Brunner
predicts will see a turnout of 80 percent of the state's 8.3 million registered voters.

"We think as we move forward to Nov. 4, that despite the controversies, despite the
political wrangling that's gone on between the parties and the candidates, that our
elections officials are very well prepared and they will do a good job for the people of
the state of Ohio," Brunner said at a press conference on Thursday, Oct. 30.

The political wrangling may not be done. With just four days to go before Election
Day, the squabbling that has marked the run-up to the election reached a near
boiling point.

Shortly after Brunner's press conference, Deputy Ohio Republican Chairman Kevin
DeWine charged that because of the Democratic secretary of state's political
maneuvering there's no reason to be confident.

DeWine linked Brunner to Karyn Gillette, a former Brunner campaign consultant
who was cited in testimony from a "whistleblower" in a lawsuit filed by the
Pennsylvania Republican Party against ACORN, the Association of Community
Organizations for Reform Now, charging voter registration fraud.

"We think this information shakes the very foundation of confidence in the integrity
of the election and every Ohioan should question whether Jennifer Brunner is
actively concealing fraud in an effort to cover for her partisan allies," DeWine said.

Patrick Gallaway, Brunner's spokesman, said Gillette worked for Brunner's campaign
five months in 2006 but never worked in the secretary of state's office. Gallaway said
he did not know the last time Gillette had spoken with Brunner or her office.

Gillette now is development director for Washington, D.C.-based Project Vote, a
voting rights group that has worked with ACORN. Anita Moncrief, the so-called
whistleblower, had worked for Project Vote but was fired after using a Project Vote
credit card for personal items.

Moncrief asserted in a hearing that she was told Democrat Barack Obama's
campaign provided its campaign donor list to Project Vote to use for its own
fundraising activities. Ben LaBolt, Obama campaign spokesman, said the Obama
campaign did not provide the list to ACORN or Project Vote.

Sean Smith, Obama's Pennsylvania campaign spokesman, said anyone could
download a list of Obama's donors from the Internet.

Contact this reporter at (614) 224-1608 or

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