State of Elections

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Tag: Husted

The Battleground 2012: A Conversation with Former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner

by Allison Handler

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on October 8, 2012.

Jennifer Brunner was elected in 2006 and served a term as Ohio’s first female Secretary of State. During that time, she oversaw the contentious 2008 presidential election and implemented voting practices that allowed a record turnout of voters to cast their ballots. In 2010, she ran in the primary election for the United States Senate. She currently practices law in Columbus and is the author of a new book, “Cupcakes and Courage”. Continue reading

The Battleground 2012: Who Gets to Vote When? Ohio Election Rules Have a Smaller Effect at the Local Level

by Elizabeth Herron

In a swing state like Ohio, who gets to vote and when is critical. This is evidenced by the recent controversy in the state about early voting restrictions. The disagreement has two main issues – special accommodations for members of the military, and the elimination of early voting three days before Election Day. These two issues are connected, as members of the military and civilians overseas would technically have been allowed to vote during the three day period United States-based Ohioans would be barred from early voting.

Proponents of the early voting restrictions claim that they are necessary in order to provide election officials time to update voting records and prevent voter fraud.  Opponents argue that they are arbitrary and disproportionately affect low-income and minority voters. This issue caught national media attention when the Obama and Romney campaigns took oppositional positions on the matter. An Ohio District Court judge found the restrictions a violation of the equal protection clause. Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine quickly announced his decision to appeal the matter to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which sided with the lower court. The Supreme Court declined to block early voting. This issue has ended for now, though others press on. Continue reading

Changes Afoot in Ohio: A Conversation with Jennifer Brunner

By Allison Handler

Jennifer Brunner was elected in 2006 and served a term as Ohio’s first female Secretary of State. During that time, she oversaw the contentious 2008 presidential election and implemented voting practices that allowed a record turnout of voters to cast their ballots. In 2010, she ran in the primary election for the United States Senate. She currently practices law in Columbus and is the author of a new book, “Cupcakes and Courage”.

Ohio is facing several voting-related challenges this election cycle, from early voting to provisional ballot disputes. What are some other election practices that worry you?

Jon Husted recently issued a directive that if someone fills in the wrong information on an absentee ballot, the only way the voter can be reached regarding the mistake is through a letter in the mail. Even if the voter gets notice of the mistake in time to correct it before the election, they can only make the correction by filling out a specific form.

The priority instead should be to make sure everyone’s vote counts. What if there is a mistake then made on the form? Of course it is important to get the correct information. But there are so many pitfalls to correcting mistakes by mail with tight deadlines. And now the only way to notify voters of mistakes is by mail, so there will likely be many mistakes that may not be corrected and may prevent votes from being counted. Husted would have been better doing nothing than issuing that directive. Continue reading

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