Voting Rights Press Release

01.24.08

ACLU Applauds Statement by County Elections Officials

Calls on Brunner to Reconsider Disastrous Proposal

CLEVELAND–Today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio renewed its call on Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and Cuyahoga County Board of Elections officials to heed the advice of the state’s top organization for election officials and reverse their decision to switch to voting technology that does not alert voters to errors on ballots.

The Ohio Association of Election Officials (OAEO), a bipartisan group that represents all 88 county election boards, delivered a four-page statement on Tuesday disagreeing with Secretary Brunner’s decision to switch voting systems before the March 4 primary elections.

Most notably, the OAEO disapproved the use of the paper ballot system Brunner proposes because it does not allow for second chance voting or notice to the voters about potential mistakes on the ballot. They pointed out that other voting systems are available that offer the voter a chance to correct mistakes on the ballot before submitting it to be counted.

According to a survey conducted by Brunner’s office in mid-January, seventy percent of election board members statewide are reluctant to switch from systems that inform voters of potential mistakes to Brunner’s proposed system, which does not.

ACLU of Ohio Staff Attorney Carrie Davis said, “Ohio’s top county elections officials recognize that these initiatives would not protect voters and cause chaos on Election Day. It’s time for Secretary Brunner to reconsider her ill-advised plan to switch to machines that will cause more votes to be uncounted.”