Look Ahead America Sues Ohio Elections Board Over Dominion Contract Meetings

  • by:
  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

In Ohio, the Stark County Board of Elections voted to purchase 1,450 Dominion ImageCast X voting machines last December, but Republican commissioners refused to approve funding this March. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled to force the funding on Monday.

Five of the Board members are now being sued by Look Ahead America (LAA). On May 18, LAA announced their lawsuit against the Stark County Board of Elections for violating Ohio’s Open Meetings Act in their consideration of the purchase of Dominion voting equipment.

The alleged violation of a Sunshine Law in Ohio's Revised Code (ORC) called the Open Meetings Act (121.22) came during the Stark County Board of Elections' evaluation of proposals for voting equipment. Electronic Systems & Software (ES&S) was considered, but after multiple closed-door meetings, the board chose the proposal from Dominion Voting Systems, Inc.

Per the Ohio Attorney General's website FAQ, Ohio's Open Meetings Act "requires public bodies in Ohio to conduct all public business in open meetings that the public may attend and observe. This means that if a public body is meeting to discuss and vote on or otherwise decide public business, the meeting must be open to the public." The only exception is if a public meeting would amount to "premature disclosure of information which would give an unfair competitive or bargaining advantage to a person whose personal, private interest was adverse to the general public interest."

Per LAA's Executive Director Matt Braynard:

"The process was not transparent and open to the public. Right before voting on the contract with Dominion, the board excluded the public for eighteen minutes from their discussion and deliberations. Nothing necessitated the public’s exclusion. And for the next months thereafter, they continued to exclude the public when discussing the contract with Dominion. That’s not consistent with both the letter and spirit of Ohio’s Open Meetings Act, and we are going to get justice for the residents of Stark County, Ohio. Further, we are determined to ensure that any voting equipment purchased relies on open-source software and hardware. This will restore trust, lower election costs, and create home state jobs for Clark County elections."

LAA is seeking an injunction that would invalidate the contract and any other "resolutions, rules, and/or formal action" and compel the board to reconvene public meetings in compliance with Ohio's R.C. 121.22. Additionally, matters discussed during the closed executive session in violation of the act are disclosed and documented with "sufficient facts and information to permit the public to understand and appreciate the rationale" of decisions by the board.

UncoverDC has reported on Dominion Voting Systems defamation suits against Sidney Powell, as well as letters sent by Dominion defamation counsel to LAA's Braynard. An article earlier this month has Michigan's Matt DePerno claiming he can show how votes in down-ballot races can be changed at the tabulator locally and easily. UDC also reported on Jeffrey Lenberg allegedly showing how to flip votes on a voting machine in real-time. In New Hampshire, a Dominion Rep makes questionable appearances at an audit. In Pennsylvania, the DA may investigate an error that had Dominion machines showing "Official Democratic Ballot" no matter the party.

Stark County is one of two counties in Ohio listed as having used the Premier AccuVote-TSX system as of October 2020 on the Ohio Secretary of State's Voting System By Vendor map. Sixteen counties show having Dominion as the vendor, providing Image Cast X systems for eleven and Image Cast Evolution systems for five. The majority of counties in Ohio use systems from Electronic Systems & Software. Donald Trump won Ohio's 18 Electoral Votes in 2020 with a popular vote of 53.3% of the total.

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