Mark Alberini and Ralph Infante, the two Democrats on the county board of elections, don't want Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to break a tie on the board over a proposal to reduce the number of voting precincts in Trumbull County from 208 to 152.
That's why the duo asked Husted, a Republican, to return the issue to the board to solve.
Husted agreed and gave the board until Feb. 11 to ''adopt a bipartisan agreement'' but reserved the right to break the tie if an agreement isn't reached by then, according to a Jan. 29 letter.
Alberini, board chairman, said although Democrats provided a ''solid position'' for their arguments, they felt the decision was best made locally.
Arguments Democrats presented to Husted also included opposition letters from county commissioners, the county Democrat Party and from precinct committee men and women in Girard.
Alberini said he didn't want to speculate on how the secretary might have decided, but the outcome probably would not have been in Democrats' favor.
That's why Alberini and Infante wanted the ball back in the hands of the board. They risked losing the tie break and in turn having a reduction plan in place they were fully against. It is a plan Alberini has referred to as a ''recipe for disaster.''
In a Jan. 24 letter to Husted, Alberini and Infante asked for a chance for ''further deliberation and to work out a solution that would be acceptable'' to board members and in the ''best interests'' of voters.
Now, they should hope Republican board member Ron Knight and Kathi Creed, the county Republican Party chairwoman, are willing to negotiate.
They already believe the proposal best serves voters and taxpayers.
Knight, who brought forth the original proposal, said he'll approach other proposals with an open mind right after he said he believes his initial resolution is a ''good resolution'' and presents a precinct structure that makes sense and is good for taxpayers.
The proposal the board split on Jan. 7, Knight argues, will save money, make precincts more equal in size and improve elections. Too many people per precinct would lead to longer lines to vote and increase the chance that mistakes will be made at the polls, Democrats say. Plus, there are other ways to cut costs, Democrats say.
There should be a better picture of where things stand after Monday when the board meets to, in part, review precinct revisions and reductions.
Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder will be the featured speaker at the Mahoning Valley McKinley Club's annual McKinley Banquet, the yearly tribute to the 25th president of the United States, William McKinley.
Tickets for the Feb. 18 event at the McKinley Memorial Auditorium are $25 a person and will be sold through Feb. 14. There are no ticket sales at the door. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased by calling 330-856-6057 or 330-883-4755 or at the Republican Headquarters in the Eastwood Mall from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday and 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 and 13. Other chances to buy them are at the Warren Republican Women's Club Luncheon on Feb. 7 and the GOP monthly breakfast on Feb. 9.