JEFFERSON — At a meeting on Wednesday, the Ashtabula County Board of Elections voted to accept the application of John Mead to be the next deputy director.

The position has been open since previous deputy director Debbie Newcomb’s resignation became official July 3.

Mead perviously served as a member of the Board of Elections and worked as a poll worker. He was also the fiscal manager at the Ashtabula County Auditor’s Office from 2011-19, according to his resume. He has also been active in the Ashtabula County Democratic Party for the past 28 years, he said in his cover letter. Mead currently serves as the treasurer of the Ashtabula Democratic Party, according to the party website.

Mead served on the board from 2010-11, he said.

“I’ve been involved in the political process for almost 30 years,” he said. “Very active in the Democratic Party, and I understand how important the election process is.”

The Ohio Revised Code requires the director and deputy director to be from different political parties. In addition, the chairman of the board must be of the opposite party as the director, according to the ORC.

“This is where you want to be if you’ve spent most of your life in the political world, this is the culmination,” Mead said. “This is where you put all your processes together and it then becomes a non-partisan, very important position, that you administer the election.”

Mead was appreciative for all four board members voting in favor of his appointment.

“I’m just anxious to get to work,” he said. “Elections are very ... complicated, but they’re very, very important. They’re figuratively sacred to our democracy.”

Board member Luanne Laakso announced her resignation at Wednesday’s meeting. Laakso has served on the board for 14 years, she said.

“I’ll miss you all,” Laakso said.

Board President Joseph Varckette praised Laakso and her work with the board.

Laakso’s replacement will have to be nominated by the Democratic Party, then approved by the Ohio Secretary of State’s office. 

Board members thanked Laakso for her service on the board.

In other


• The board approved a write-in candidate for the Ohio House of Representatives 99th District. Kyle Bruckman will face off against Democrat Richard Dana and Republican Sarah Fowler for the seat, which is currently held by Democrat John Patterson.

• The board also approved moving a polling place from Gulfview Towers to the Ashtabula County District Library. When the list of polling places was approved earlier this month, board director Charlie Frye said the Gulfview Towers polling place would need to be moved temporarily.

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