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Move to merge voter office dies

A proposal to merge the Board of Voter Registration and place the duties and responsibilities of the office under the jurisdiction of the clerk of courts died Friday after Allen County Commissioner Linda Bloom said no.

The issue required a unanimous vote to move forward.

Although Commissioners Nelson Peters and Therese Brown tried to persuade Bloom that a “yes” vote would result in more streamlined local government and would be more cost effective and efficient for the public, Bloom was not convinced.

A state law enacted two years ago allows county governments to make the decision. Bloom pointed out that the 72 counties that had taken advantage of the new law were not as large as Allen County.

Allen County Democratic Chairman John Court and Republican Chairman Steve Shine have agreed that the bi-partisan office should not be merged under an elected official’s jurisdiction. Clerk Lisa Borgmann is a Republican.

The issue can be revisited, although no timeline was set by commissioners.

Bloom urged the two departments to work with the clerk of courts on opening communication and creating a plan before revisiting the issue.

For more on this story, see Saturday’s print edition of The Journal Gazette or return to after 3 a.m. Saturday.