The Board of Elections last Monday (10/14/13) denied a challenge put forth by Mary Siegel of Ohio Voter Integrity Project in a three to one vote, despite overwhelming evidence that one Randy Simes did not meet Ohio’s residency requirements in order to register and vote in the September 10, 2013 Mayoral Primary.
Mr. Simes currently living in Korea and previously residing in Chicago, Illinois was challenged based on the fact that he has no “fixed habitation” in Ohio and did not reside in Ohio 30 days immediately preceding the September 10th election. Mr. Simes registered at friend and business associate, Travis Estell’s Over-the-Rhine condo during a five day visit to Cincinnati in July of 2013.
Mr. Tim Burke, Chairman of the Board and Mr. Caleb Faux both Democrats voted to deny the challenge along with Mr. Charles (Chip) Gerhardt a Republican. The only supporter was Mr. Alex Triantifilou, Republican Chairman.
In our opinion the evidence clearly demonstrated that Mr. Simes voter registration was invalid because Simes was a resident of Chicago when he registered in Ohio on July 12, 2013 and that he lived and worked in Chicago on and off from that date until his transfer to Korea in September. Mr. Simes, who is outspoken politically on Cincinnati City issues, wanted to vote in this Mayoral election both primary and general. He is employed by Parsons Brinckerhoff, the company that is supplying the streetcars. He is also the head of UrbanCincy, a blog that he ran from his former address in Chicago and now from Korea.
The decision by Burke, Faux and Gerhardt was based on Simes’ intent to return to Cincinnati after his 2 year employment in Korea. Mr. Simes had his mailing address on bank and credit card statements changed to Estell’s address around the time he registered to provide evidence of residency. However, Travis Estell testified that he and Simes never discussed Simes moving into Estell’s Cincinnati condo in 2013 or when he returns from Korea. Mr. Simes does not have any personal belongings at Estell’s residence, further proof that Simes habitation is not fixed to Estell’s address; the address of his voter registration.
We feel that the rule of law was ignored by the Board in reaching their decision. By disregarding Ohio’s 30 day and “fixed habitation” rules, we fear that this decision opens the door for voter fraud in Hamilton County and elsewhere. We completely disagree with the Board’s reasoning and are extremely disappointed by this decision.