Friday, October 5th, 2012
Sell to fill vacant elections board seat
By William Kincaid
Mercer County Democrats have recommended that Celina City Councilman Bill Sell fill the board of election seat recently vacated by Mark Uhlenhake.
At a party meeting this week, members of the combined central and executive committee voted for Sell to fill one of their two seats on the board, secretary Betty Cook told the newspaper. Former Mercer County Auditor Mark Giesige of Celina holds the other seat.
Two Democrats and two Republicans comprise the board of elections. The Republican members are Toni Slusser and Del Kramer, both of Celina. Each party recommends a candidate to serve a four-year term.
Secretary of State Jon Husted will review the Democratic party's recommendation before making an official appointment.
"I think he should do a good job," Cook, who served on the board of elections for 24 years, said of Sell.
Sell said he is eligible for the board of elections because he is not a candidate in this general election and doesn't intend to run for city council again when his term expires in 2015.
Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Andy Hinders confirmed that Sell can hold both positions because he is not a candidate in this election and therefore does not face a conflict of interest.
"It seemed like it would be an interesting position," Sell, who teaches government at Celina High School, said about his desire to serve on the board of elections. "I've always been intrigued by elections, politics."
Sell said he would like to continue the board's adoption of new technology and help to ensure great access to voting.
"It (the office) certainly seems as if it's running well, and I want to continue that," he said.
Sell has served on city council since 1998, including two terms as president. He also will continue serving as chairman of the Mercer County Democrats.
Uhlenhake resigned from the board on Sept. 30 due to personal obligations. He had served on it for 15 years and was the board chairman.
Until the Secretary of State makes an appointment, the board only has three members during the lead-up to the critical presidential election. Early voting already has begun and people can cast their absentee ballots either by mail or in person at the voting center located in the Mercer County Courthouse.
Husted on Monday announced that more than 920,000 absentee ballot applications to vote by mail had been received by county boards of elections statewide.
"We hope that (Sell) gets it real soon," Cook said about the appointment. "We never know how long it's going to take them (the state)."