Sarantou can examine ballots

George Sarantou won the right to examine the envelopes in which provisional ballots were received, but the battle over who won the Lucas County Commissioner's race is far from over.

In a hearing today before Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge Gary Cook, an attorney for the board of elections argued that access to the provisional ballots and envelopes was restricted. However, Judge Cook ruled that the much of the same information, such as mailing addresses, is public record for voters who vote by traditional means.

Sarantou has argued that he and his attorneys need to examine the ballots and envelopes to determine whether or not those ballots were legally cast.

The next hearing is scheduled for January 14.

Sarantou had been declared the winner of the election held on November 2 for the county commissioner seat being vacated by Ben Konop. However, when provisional ballots -- ballots cast by voters who have changed residence but not notified the board of elections of the move -- were factored in, Carol Contrada was declared the winner. Contrada has been sworn in and now holds the seat.