September 18, 2018
The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that the Hamilton County Board of Elections is opening its own investigation into Aftab Pureval’s campaign finance reporting, and the history of the redactions to checks filed by his campaign.
The controversy has erupted in response to Pureval’s claim that a Board of Elections employees made redactions to his campaign.
Now it appears that in fact, a Democrat Board of Elections employee did illegally alter public records to prevent disclosure of the information contained on the memo line of one check in particular.
One check, paid to GBA Strategies out of Washington, D.C. appears to read “Poll…” beneath the redaction. Such an expenditure by the clerk of courts campaign (nearly three years before the election) would be quite unusual. It is believed that the payment was made for polling done for Pureval’s congressional race, a violation of state and federal campaign finance laws.
The Board of Elections sole purpise to create and maintain records – be they campaign finance records, or more integral to our system of governance, election records. There are now very real questions about the integrity of the Board of Elections recordkeeping functions. The Board of Elections must determine whether Pureval’s campaign was involved in the decision to illegally redact his campaign finance filings, so that Hamilton County voters can be confident in the results reported by the Hamilton County Board of Elections.
The Hamilton County Board of Elections will hold a special emergency meeting on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at 11 a.m. to investigate further, That meeting will be at 4700 Smith Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45212. The public and media is invited to attend.
Read the Ohio Elections Commission Complaint here.
Read Pureval’s response, including the statement that the Board of Election redacted the memo line here.