Voting Rights Press Release

11.02.10

ACLU Urges Election Officials to Keep Delaware County Polls Open Later

News Reports Indicate Voters Not Informed of New Locations

POWELL, OH- The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio urged elections officials at the Delaware County Board of Elections and Ohio Secretary of State’s office to seek a court order to extend hours at some of the county’s polling locations. According to news reports, hundreds of voters were not informed that their traditional polling location had been changed. When the voters arrived at New Hope Church in Powell, there was a sign posted on the door directing them to new locations based on their ward.

ACLU of Ohio Executive Director Christine Link said, “Voters should not be punished because the Board of Elections failed to notify them of location changes. Many people who arrived at the traditional polling place may have been unable to go to the new polling place immediately, and may need additional time this evening in order to do so. The only fair solution is to allow more time for voters to cast their ballot.”

The Delaware County Board of Elections issued a statement Tuesday afternoon apologizing for the error, and indicating that they have dispatched officials to help direct voters to the new polling location. The statement did not indicate if the Board planned to request extended hours for the affected locations.

The ACLU of Ohio also contacted Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s Voting Rights Institute, urging them to look into the matter.

Link concluded, “Every vote is important, and should not be sacrificed because of an error on the part of elections officials. By allowing voters extra time to cast their ballots, officials can help ensure that everyone who wanted to cast a ballot is given a fair chance to do so.”