Group headed by former Trump strategist sues Stark County over voting machines


STARK COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – A lawsuit filed in Stark County challenges a decision made in December by the Stark County Board of Elections to purchase 1,400 new voting machines which would replace the aging machines.

Look Ahead America (LAA) filed the suit in Stark County Common Pleas Court on behalf of Merry Lynne Rini of Massillon.

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The suit claims the Board of Elections violated Ohio’s Open Meetings Act when discussing the purchase of Dominion voting machines.

In a news release, the Executive Director of LAA, Matt Braynard said, “The process engaged in by the Board of Elections was not transparent and open to the public. Right before voting on the contract with Dominion, the board excluded the public for eighteen minutes from their discussion and deliberations. Nothing necessitated the public’s exclusion. And for the next months thereafter, they continued to exclude the public when discussing the contract with Dominion. That’s not consistent with both the letter and spirit of Ohio’s Open Meetings Act and we are going to get justice for the residents of Stark County Ohio. Further, we are determined to ensure that any voting equipment purchased relies on open-source software and hardware. This will restore trust, lower election costs, and create home state jobs for Stark County elections.”

Braynard, on his Twitter account, says he was a former data/strategist director for Donald J. Trump during the 2016 election.

Braynard told FOX 8 their organization is against all “black box voting machines” which include Dominion that have proprietary software. He said Stark County can set the example for the state of Ohio and for the U.S. to choose to instead use what he described as open source voting machines, which allow election officials to examine the software and hardware of the machines.

The decision to purchase the new voting machines was made in December by the BOE.

It did not impact the November general election in which Donald Trump carried Stark County by a wide margin.

The $1.5 million purchase was unanimously rejected by county commissioners in March.

Look Ahead America is a conservative nonprofit that advertises as its mission “There are millions of rural and blue-collar patriotic Americans who are disaffected and disenfranchised from the nation’s corridors of power. Their fears ignored, their priorities dismissed, their values ridiculed, they’ve become cynical and pessimistic about a government that so often does not hear their voices. Our mission is to register, educate, and enfranchise these disaffected citizens and ensure that their voices are not just heard but heeded and that the American Dream becomes their dream again.”

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On May 24th Dominion updated a statement released by the company following the November General Election which states:

“Dominion Voting Systems has been the target of election disinformation seeking to undermine confidence in the integrity of the 2020 election. Here are the facts:

Dominion is a private American company that provides voting systems in 28 states, including “red” and “blue” jurisdictions.  Since its founding in 2003, Dominion has supported tens of thousands of elections in non-partisan fashion.
All Dominion systems are capable of producing paper records and are 100% auditable, with testing, reviews, audits, and recounts subject to oversight and verification by all political parties.
All 2020 election audits and recounts using Dominion technology have validated the accuracy and reliability of results, confirming the integrity of election outcomes.
Baseless claims about the integrity of the system or the accuracy of the results have been dismissed by election authorities, subject matter experts and third-party fact-checkers.

“Malicious and misleading false claims about Dominion have resulted in dangerous levels of threats and harassment against the company and its employees, as well as election officials.”

Whether the new machines would be used in the next election has yet to be determined.


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