Hamilton County, Ohio, Common Pleas Court Norbert Nadel appointed Mike O'Neill as special prosecutor in the case Monday after Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters stepped down, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Deters had been accused by Democratic Party leaders of a conflict of interest because of his role as southwest Ohio regional campaign chairman for Republican U.S. presidential nominee John McCain, a U.S. senator from Arizona, the newspaper said.
He had been presiding over a grand jury investigation in which county officials have subpoenaed the complete registration records of about 40 percent of the 671 Cincinnati-area voters who registered and voted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 6.
"I'm sensitive that this is going to be a pretty highly charged issue," O'Neill told the Enquirer. "The right to a fair and impartial election is sacrosanct."