Recent news informed us the Director of the Ashtabula County Board of Elections and Ashtabula County Republican Party Chairman Charlie Frye was found not guilty in a political sign theft case. The case was ruled on by a long-time Republican judge from out of county without a jury because of a trial-to-court option requested by Frye. I am not here to debate whether the ruling was fair or not, but I would like to objectively bring attention to recent events regarding the Ashtabula County Board of Elections.
Secretary of State Frank LaRose ruled late last year that Democratic Party Chairman Eli Kalil, who was seeking a seat on the Board of Elections, was unfit to serve because of an unsubstantiated accusation from over four years ago related to voter fraud. Mr. Kalil was never charged following multiple investigations into the matter. Yes, at that time the prosecutor and sheriff were both elected Democrats, but the detective who investigated Kalil was a known conservative.
We should be concerned if Mr. Frye is to stay at the Board of Elections. if Mr. Kalil was not allowed to serve because of an unsubstantiated accusation, why should Mr. Frye, who was charged and stood trial but not convicted, be allowed to remain working there? In these times of political and election uncertainty, we should not allow one side of the aisle to play under one set of rules and the opposite side under another. Keeping Mr. Frye employed at the BOE will only further undermine the confidence in our local election process. We, as voters in Ashtabula County, deserve the absolute best and we will not receive that if things remain status quo.