Legislators urged to alter election administration bills
Sunday, Jun. 5, 2011
In emails to central Ohio legislators today, the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus recommended changes to two election administration bills pending in the House and Senate.
The correspondence was sent in response to an action alert issued by the League of Women Voters of Ohio to the following state senators and representatives serving central Ohio:
- Hon. Kevin Bacon (Senate District 3)
- Hon. Charleta Tavares (Senate District 15)
- Hon. Jim Hughes (Senate District 16)
- Hon. Anne Gonzales (House District 19)
- Hon. Nancy Garland (House District 20)
- Hon. Mike Duffey (House District 21)
- Hon. John Patrick Carney (House District 22)
- Hon. Cheryl Grossman (House District 23)
- Hon. Ted Celeste (House District 24)
- Hon. Michael Stinziano (House District 25)
- Hon. Tracy Maxwell Heard (House District 26)
- Hon. W. Carlton Weddington (House District 27)
The full text of the email follows:
On behalf of the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus and our hundreds of members across central Ohio, I urge you to speak up for election administration legislation that supports voters' access and intent.
While HB 194 and SB 148 both contain some improvements to current law, the League of Women Voters is concerned about three areas likely to result in long lines at the polls and uncounted votes by legitimate voters. Specifically, these bills eliminate poll workers' responsibility to assist voters, reduce options for absentee voting, and weaken recognition of voter intent.
Please craft legislation that instead:
- Supports poll workers' responsibility to assist voters by directing each voter to the right precinct and allowing a ballot cast in the wrong precinct because of poll worker error to be counted for any races in which the voter was eligible to vote.
- Supports absentee voting by allowing boards of elections to continue to offer in-person absentee voting at temporary polling places in addition to the board of elections office; continuing to provide several weeks, including several weekends, during which in-person absentee voting is permitted; and continuing to allow boards of elections the discretion to mail absentee-voter applications to every voter in the county rather than limit that to voters who affirmatively request it.
- Supports voters' intent by retaining the "intent of the voter" standard in determining whether a double vote should be counted.
Thank you for your consideration of our request, and for your service to central Ohio. Please don’t strip away voters’ rights.