CLEVELAND -- In collaboration with the League of Women Voters Cleveland Educational fund (LWVCEF), the ACLU of Ohio today called for major changes in Ohio’s electoral system. The call for reform stemmed from an examination of the data gathered by the two groups from their joint Voter Report Line. The line, staffed by LWVCEF and ACLU volunteers, was open from June 2004 through November 3, 2004.

During the five months the lines were open, thousands of calls poured in and many problems were reported, including absentee voting problems, registration discrepancies, issues with provisional ballots and confusion over challengers. Accordingly, the LWVCEF and the ACLU of Ohio have issued five recommendations for specific reforms to streamline Ohio’s election process. A summary of observations and recommendations is available from the ACLU of Ohio Web site:

“The system can work,” said ACLU of Ohio Executive Director Christine Link, “But first we must ensure that we adhere to three principles: accuracy, integrity and participation. Every vote must be counted without fraud or mechanical error and everyone must be able to participate in the electoral process without intimidation or undue burden.”

League of Women Voters Cleveland Educational Fund Executive Director Sharon McGraw added, “After reflection upon data gathered from the LWVCEF and ACLU of Ohio voter report line, we have pinpointed five key steps that can be taken to make sure elections run more smoothly. Officials must act swiftly to implement these changes so that future elections are not put at risk.”

The nonprofit, nonpartisan ACLU of Ohio is a state affiliate of the national ACLU. Funded entirely through charitable gifts and membership dues, the ACLU defends individual rights through litigation, lobbying, and educational initiatives. The ACLU of Ohio has a staff office in Cleveland and community and campus chapters located in every region of Ohio. There are over 18,000 ACLU members and supporters in Ohio and over 400,000 nationwide.