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Heated Debate on Moving Hamilton County Crime Lab

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Published on Jan 21, 2014

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio (Deb Dixon) -- Architectral plans to move the Hamilton County Crime Lab into the the old Mount Airy Hospital were presented to the Board of Elections Tuesday because County Commissioners want it to move there too.But two Republicans and two Democrats on the board have to agree to that. Everyone agrees the new crime lab is needed. What was talked about Tuesday is the 24,000 people who stood in line around the building last presidential election to vote early.Would they have voted if they had to take a bus to Mount Airy?Thousands of mostly black and Democratic voters took advantage of 35 days of early voting downtown. The Mount Airy building is a 10 miles away.I see this process as a process that will continue to disenfranchise voters. But board member and Hamilton County Republican party chairman, Alex Triantafilou, says there is public transportation to the Mt. Airy location. And the location, with its free parking, is better for most people in the county. Should people who do not have or people who cannot afford a car have less access to the polls? I hope the answer is no. So are Republicans trying to keep certain people from voting? I do think that moving the board to that site without maintaining early voting at a downtown location has that impact, yes. Triantafilou sees politics playing out too.He said, Keeping the board, early voting, in one particular location that happens to be a stronghold for the Democratic party is their goal here. But, what about that crime lab?! The one you all think is needed?Hamilton County Coroner, Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco (D), said, You've got a crime lab with three bullet wounds lying on the table internally bleeding. I'm asking you guys to grab the scalpel with both hands and get the work done. The board did not take a vote on the move. They agreed to disagree. They did agree on one thing, to meet again. The Democrats on the board of elections want a satellite office downtown for early voting. If the board moves to Mount Airy, Republicans oppose that. The deadline on the year-old offer from Catholic Health Partners expires February 1st.

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