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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Sean McKinney has dismissed his complaint against the Mahoning County Board of Elections.
He was defeated by Tito Brown in the Youngstown mayoral race. McKinney claims that election was conducted unfairly.
Officials with the board were actually disappointed McKinney dismissed his lawsuit. They wanted their day in court to prove the Youngstown mayoral election was not fraudulent.
Instead, that trial was held Wednesday by news conferences — first McKinney, then the county.
McKinney isn’t backtracking on his claims that the election wasn’t fair.
“The 2017 general election was flawed and plagued with countless irregularities,” he said.
McKinney proceeded to make claims of illegal campaigning, dead people voting, uncounted ballots and unsigned poll books.
He also mentioned the Board of Elections’ double-counting of votes and release of incorrect voting totals. Those totals were corrected before they were sent to the Secretary of State, according to the board of elections, but not before they went to the media.
McKinney said he found evidence that he gave to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to review.
“It’s not about me. It’s about you, the citizens of Youngstown,” McKinney said.
“The citizens in Youngstown deserve to know that their vote was counted and that it was counted correctly.”
When McKinney was finished, board of elections officials held their own news conference.
“His press conference today was baseless and filled with outright lies,” said Democratic Party Chair Dave Betras.
“We’ve gone out of our way to disprove all of the charges that were raised,” said Republican Party Chair Mark Munroe.
“I am truly sorry that the board of elections did not have the opportunity to prove how fair and honest this election was in a court of law,” said Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains.
One of McKinney’s claims was that surveillance video from Harding School showed less than the 700 people who voted, but Gains showed the tape. The clock skips from 7:01:35 to 7:02:47.
“If it loses 38 minutes in an hour, that’s a lot of people that can vote in that 38-minute period,” Gains said.
Mayor Tito Brown said the lawsuit cost him $10,000.
“Now I had to go out, get my own personal attorney, which now I need to ask who’s going to pay for that?”
Youngstown Councilwoman and McKinney supporter Basia Adamczak attended both news conferences. She and Betras exchanged a few words.
The trial was set to begin on Thursday but on Tuesday, a judge ruled that McKinney’s lawyers could not depose the people involved, which led to the case being dropped.
A spokesman for Husted said Wednesday that it’s too early to determine what, if anything, will be done about McKinney’s case.