Articles about voting issues in Ohio.

Ohio: Postal Service to develop policy for postmarking absentee ballots after concerns raised about discounted ballots in Summit County | Akron Beacon Journal

The U.S. Postal Service will develop a policy on postmarking absentee ballots in light of concerns raised this week by Summit County elections officials about nearly 900 ballots discounted because they lacked postmarks. “We will be talking to the Ohio Secretary of State to reach a mutual understanding of acceptable postmarks for absentee ballots and develop a uniform policy addressing all concerns to help prevent this from happening again,” David Van Allen, a postal spokesman, said Thursday in a written statement. Read More

Ohio: Federal judge hearing dispute over Ohio’s voting rules | Associated Press

Attorneys representing Ohio Democrats in a legal dispute over changes to the swing state’s voting laws said Monday that a federal judge should strike down the adjustments because their burden on voters outweighs any benefit to the state. But lawyers for the state claim the voting changes were minor and argue that Ohio offers many opportunities for its residents to vote. At issue in the case are a series of Republican-backed changes that Democrats allege disproportionately burden minority voters and those who lean Democratic. Among the policy changes was elimination of a week of early voting in which Ohioans also could register to vote, known as “golden week.” U.S. District Judge Michael Watson heard opening statements in the trial that began Monday and is expected to stretch into next week. The case is being tried before Watson instead of a jury. The case also challenges rules related to absentee and provisional ballots, and limitations to in-person, early voting locations. Democrats want Watson to block the policies from being enforced. Read More

Ohio: Dispute over changes to Ohio’s voting system heads to trial | Associated Press

Democrats in the swing state of Ohio have filed a federal lawsuit claiming a series of voting-related changes made by Republicans disproportionately burden voters who lean Democratic and violate certain constitutional rights. The state’s Republican elections chief contends the voting process is fair and has called the lawsuit politically motivated. … The Ohio Organizing Collaborative filed the lawsuit in May in Columbus federal court. But attorneys for the nonprofit recently withdrew the organization from the case, saying it lacked the “institutional capability” to remain a plaintiff. The state’s Democratic Party and Cuyahoga and Montgomery county parties took its place. They join three Ohio residents who are also plaintiffs. They are suing Jon Husted, the state’s Republican elections chief, and Mike DeWine, Ohio’s attorney general, over the voting policies. Read More

Ohio: Hamilton County Board of Elections Investigation Into Voting Difficulties Underway | CityBeat

The Hamilton County Board of Elections is investigating difficulties a number of voters faced last week as they sought to weigh in on controversial local and state ballot issues. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted called for the investigation in light of hurdles voters faced Nov. 3. Those problems led to an order to keep polls in the county open an extra hour and a half. While the board’s investigation continues ahead of a Dec. 11 deadline, officials say the county’s new electronic voting system might have played a role. For some in Hamilton County, voting was arduous, with technical glitches forcing voters to cast provisional ballots and imprecise information given by poll workers sending other voters scrambling. At least some of these problems, officials say, were likely caused by a mistake involving an erroneous date entered into the electronic system that left it unable to recognize voters who registered after that date. The difficulties could spell trouble during next year’s sure-to-be-contentious presidential election, where Ohio will play a central role. Read More

Ohio: Boehner resignation leads to election oddity | Cincinnati Inquirer

It’s unlikely to happen, but voters could elect two different congressmen to fill John Boehner’s vacated seat in the March primary. That’s because Ohio Gov. John Kasich has chosen to conduct the primary for Boehner’s unfinished 6-month term and the two-year term on the same date. And since the Speaker of the House resigned in the middle of his term, voters must choose a replacement and someone to serve the next full term, which begins in 2017. That means any candidate running for both will appear on the March ballot twice. When asked about the date, Joshua Eck, press secretary for Ohio Secretary of State John Husted, could not think of any examples when this had been done before. Husted, Ohio’s chief elections officer, is responsible for setting the election calendar and deadlines for those elections. Read More

Ohio: Board: More than one problem plagued Hamilton Co. polling places – Vendor error left out 11,000 voters | WLWT

The search for answers to the voting problems in Hamilton County a week ago has lead to both machine and man., Election leaders said they believe there is some degree of blame to assign all around. Tuesday, as they attempt to get a deeper understanding of what went wrong, they are trying to zero in on how to ensure that repairs are made in time for the March and November elections next year. In the aftermath of significant problems, they know there were computer programming mistakes, equipment failures and human error. What they don’t yet know is what percentage to give to each. “We knew there would be problems that day,” said Alex Triantafilou, who is a member of the elections board. “I was concerned just about this new technology.” … Officials said the first major problem was in the programming of the computer system. Read More

Ohio: New Evidence Emerges of Vote Counting Chicanery in Ohio Pot Ballot Initiative | Alternet

More evidence is emerging calling into question the officially reported results of Tuesday’s marijuana legalization vote in Ohio, where Issue 3 was defeated by a two-to-one margin. On Friday, the Columbus Free Press published a series of screenshots of live televised election returns from Dayton’s WHIO-TV provided by Ohio’s Secretary of State. The sequence showed hundreds of thousands of votes flipped within minutes from the “yes” to “no” column of Issue 3. The controversial measure would have established a state-licensed cartel of 10 licensed growers operating regulated indoor grow sites of up to 300,000 square feet each. The pro-marijuana activist community was divided on the measure. The screenshots, posted below, show hundreds of thousands of votes flipping from the “yes” to the “no” column in 11 minutes, even though the number of precincts reporting only increased by 6 percent. In the first screenshot, with 39 percent of precincts reporting, the pot measure is winning 65-to-35 percent. In the second screenshot those percentages are reversed, even though the number of precincts reporting results has only increased by 6 percent. Look at the number of votes in each column and you will see that hundreds of thousands have been jumped from supporting to opposing the measure. Read More

Ohio: Will Ohio vote glitches get fixed by 2016? | USA Today

The votes still were being counted late Tuesday at Hamilton County’s board of elections when officials there began to talk about next year. It was not a pleasant conversation. The delays, mistakes and technological glitches that plagued Tuesday’s vote caused headaches for everyone involved in the process. But election officials know that’s nothing compared to the epic migraine they’d get if those errors are repeated next fall, during a presidential election that could hinge on Ohio and Hamilton County. If an election featuring a few statewide issues and local tax levies could bring so much pain, it wasn’t hard for the people in charge of elections here to imagine what would happen if the stakes were higher. Armies of lawyers and political operatives would roll into town. Wolf Blitzer might go live from Fountain Square. It might not be Florida’s hanging chads, but it wouldn’t be pretty. “We’re in a crucial state in a presidential election year and we’ve got to get it right,” said Alex Triantafilou, a board of elections member and the chairman of the county GOP. “There’s no sugarcoating it,” he said of Tuesday’s vote. “Last night was a disaster, and we need to fix it.” Read More

Ohio: Voting machine glitches delay Portage County election results until Wednesday | Akron Beacon Journal

It took 12 hours before the Portage County Board of Elections could post results from Tuesday’s elections because of a “computer server” issue. Four in-house technicians and several state and national technicians via telephone from Dominion (the machine vendor and support company) got things working again. “Some of the candidates called to see what was happening and to confirm results this morning,” said Board of Elections Director Faith Lyon. “This has never happened before. The final unofficial results were available by 7 a.m. [Wednesday]. She said there were no glitches in the system during a test run on Friday, prior to Election Day. But on Tuesday night, there were problems.  Read More


Ohio: On the front lines of an awful election | Cincinnati Enquirer

The election went very badly. As a poll worker, I know that better than anybody. Really. It was awful. Because of this, they decided to keep the polls open late (“Problems, delays keep the polls open” Nov. 4). That was not a good idea. It fixed nothing. Many of the problems were blamed on the new technology. But that wasn’t the real issue, per se. I hear some locations gave up on the new machines and reverted to paper because they couldn’t get the printers hooked up. But that’s human error and inadequate training. The training was, indeed, inadequate. Only about half the poll workers – the precinct managers and deputies – were trained on the complete setup. It was assumed the regular precinct officials wouldn’t need to know. Read More