Cuyahoga County BOE Names New Director

CLEVELAND (AP) - The county's Board of Elections picked its new director Monday, promoting an employee who has served as interim director and was an assistant during the county's problematic switch to electronic voting.

Jane Platten, 39, who became interim director after the former director, Michael Vu, resigned in February, accepted the appointment at a board meeting.

Four new board members were installed May 7 in Cuyahoga County to replace four who were ousted by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

Brunner and other critics have accused the board of shoddy work, including absent, late or improperly trained poll workers and a hand count of 18,000 absentee ballots that delayed the May 2006 primary results for days.

That election marked the debut of electronic voting in Cuyahoga. Since then the last two elections in November and May have gone more smoothly.

Two board employees this year were convicted of negligent misconduct concerning the recount of 2004 presidential election ballots.

Brunner, a Democrat who took office in January, had assumed administrative oversight of the board during the transition. She originally expected to keep control through the November 2008 presidential election, but has since indicated her oversight could end sooner if improvements are made.

Heavily Democratic Cuyahoga County, the nation's 15th largest election jurisdiction, has more than 1 million voters, the most in a state that tipped the 2004 election in President Bush's favor.