Election official charged with violating law rebuffs call for resignation

Published:
Updated:

There are new developments in the controversy over an elections official accused of breaking Ohio election law.

As 10TV previously reported, Marion County Board of Elections member Jackie Smith is charged with illegally influencing the vote.

Wednesday a fellow board member demanded her resignation.

Seventy-five-year-old Jackie Smith is accused of standing outside a polling place on Election Day, with a sign supporting a candidate for Marion City Council President.

It was allegedly captured in a photograph taken by a witness.

Board of Elections Director John Meyer says he responded to the scene that day and witnessed Smith violating election law.

Last week, after investigating, the Marion County Sheriff charged her with a misdemeanor count of illegally influencing the vote.

Wednesday Phyllis Eshman-Thomas, Chair of the Board of Elections confronted Smith about her alleged crime.

"I think it would be entirely in order to ask for your resignation. This is clearly against the ethics policy that the Secretary of State put out," she said to Smith.

"So we'll wait until the Secretary of State makes that decision," Smith replied.

Eshman-Thomas says Smith privately admitted her mistake on election day, calling it "a senior moment, a response she rejects.

"We're held by a high standard. We are to make sure that fair and equitable elections are conducted. And by her doing that, campaigning for a candidate, was not fair or equitable."

Smith told 10TV, "I have no comment. I'll let my attorney deal with that."

Her attorney has not returned 10TV's call.

The Secretary of State's Office says it is aware of the situation and monitoring the status of Smith's criminal case.

She has pleaded not guilty, and will go to court in January.