November 21, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
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County elections: Democratic leader to join board

MEDINA — Medina County Democratic Chairman John Welker has been named to fill a vacant seat on the Medina County Board of Elections.

County Democrats nominated him to the post Tuesday night. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted will make the appointment.

The county party’s executive committee met to fill the seat left vacant by Democrat Don Baker, who resigned from the board to seek the office of Granger Township fiscal officer.

“It’s an important role and I’m humbled that our executive committee has put their trust in me,” said Welker, who will continue to serve as the party’s county chairman.

The board of elections includes two Democrats and two Republicans, each appointed by their respective party.

Welker said the board has a responsibility to make sure elections and rules passed down by the state are administered correctly.

Welker said the board likely will be busy in the next few years as states everywhere continue to make changes in the way elections are handled.

“There are a lot of concerns right now about voter suppression and voter ID laws, and we just have to take it as it comes,” Welker said. “The (Ohio) Legislature drives those changes and it’s up to us to administer them.”

Welker said he looks forward to his new responsibility.

“It’s obviously going to be a learning experience for me,” said Welker, who was tapped to lead the county party in 2012 after Pamela Miller’s term as chairman ended. Miller serves as the other Democrat on the board and the Republicans are Bill Heck and Teresa Cotman.

Welker said despite party differences, he expects the board to work for what’s best for Medina County voters.

“I look forward to working with the members there,” Welker said. “They work together well.”

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.