Lake County officials are optimistic a provision of state law that would force the county to purchase 54 additional voting machines this year will be removed as part of the state’s budget bill. A state law enacted in 2006 would require each county starting in 2013 to have one voting machine per 175 registered voters. The county has 152,878 registered voters and 864 electronic voting machines, so 54 additional machines would need to be purchased at a cost ranging from $100,000 to $200,000 — depending on if the equipment was new or used. Commissioner Daniel P. Troy said during a commissioners meeting Tuesday that a repeal of that ratio was included in the version of the state budget bill passed last week by the Ohio Senate.
Articles about voting issues in Ohio.
Lake County commissioners and county election officials are concerned a provision in state law might force the county to purchase 54 additional voting machines this year. Commissioner Daniel P. Troy and Elections Board Director Scott E. Daisher discussed the matter during public comment at a recent commissioners meeting. Troy recently received correspondence from the County Commissioners Association of Ohio to make sure the commissioners were aware of a state law enacted in 2006 that would require each county to have a minimum ratio starting in 2013 to have one voting machine per 175 registered voters.
The League of Women Voters of Ohio is “deeply disturbed” by the possible prosecution of 39 Hamilton County voters. In an open letter sent to election officials, LWVO President Nancy Brown said the citizens involved in 39 cases of possible voter fraud acted in line with Ohio’s election law. The cases addressed in the letter involve voters who voted via provisional ballot after voting early. After reviewing the cases, the Hamilton County Board of Elections voted 2-2 along party lines last month to send the cases to the prosecutor’s office for further review. Later in May Ohio Secretary of State John Husted a Republican, made the tie-breaking decision, siding with the two Republican on the board to send the cases to the prosecutor’s office for further review. “The only ‘wrong’ committed by these voters was requesting an absentee ballot and then casting a provisional ballot at the polls on Election Day,” Brown wrote. “This activity is perfectly legal, and referring these cases to the prosecutor sends a dangerous and chilling message not only to Ohio voters but also to poll workers.”
None? None! NONE!? A new report released yesterday by two Statehouse Democrats suggests there was all sorts of voter “suppression” in Ohio in 2012, an obvious contrast with a report from May 23 released by Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted. That one said there wasn’t any. “Zero? That should’ve triggered a bell, and it did for us too. Zero? Something is wrong with that,” said state Sen. Nina Turner, one of the Democrats behind yesterday’s report. Turner will likely challenge Husted for his office in 2014. The report released by Turner and Democratic state Rep. Kathleen Clyde of Kent cites tens of thousands of instances of voter “suppression,” counting all 34,299 provisional ballots rejected, all 13,190 absentee ballots rejected, 2,188 complaints from Ohio Democratic volunteer attorneys on Election Day, and the 122 votes rejected in the Ohio House 98th District race won narrowly by a Republican.
A group of citizens has uncovered almost 100 people in Hamilton County who are allegedly registered to vote someplace other than where they live – which is illegal. Election records show two-thirds of them actually voted from those addresses, meaning they could have cast a vote in a local election in which they weren’t entitled to have a say. Did they commit a crime? Ohio law says people must reside at the address where they’re registered. That’s because people vote on local issues – councils, commissioners, levies. The Hamilton County Board of Elections today will discuss what to do about these cases. It could send those cases to the prosecutor for further investigation and even possible felony charges.
Ohio has a voter fraud problem, but the problem apparently isn’t nearly as bad as some suspected. That seems to be the conclusion of a report released by Secretary of State Jon Husted. Husted, as part of an effort to separate fact from fiction on voter fraud, had ordered all 88 of the state’s county boards of elections to hold public hearings if they were aware of any credible voter fraud allegations or claims of voter disenfranchisement during the 2012 election. The statewide review resulted in 135 cases being referred for prosecution out of 625 red-flagged for voting irregularities. Most of the cases, Husted noted, were caught before fraudulent votes were counted. The report also showed no findings of suppression, actual in-person ballot denials or intimidation at the polls. While one case of fraud is too many, the 135 cases represent a fraction of the 5.6 million votes cast in November. That’s 0.002397 percent.
Melowese Richardson, the Madisonville poll worker accused for voting illegally for herself and others over three elections, entered no contest pleas in court this morning to four of the eight charges against her. Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Ruehlman accepted the plea bargain reached between Richardson’s attorney and assistant county prosecutor William Anderson and found Richardson guilty of four counts of illegal voting. The other four counts were dismissed. The 58-year-old Richardson, a long-time poll worker at the Madisonville Recreation Center, will undergo a pre-sentence investigation and be sentenced by Ruehlman on July 9. She faces the possibility of up to 18 months in jail on each of the charges, which are fourth degree felonies.
Twenty years after the National Voter Registration Act was enacted, Ohio appears ready to comply with a key provision of the federal law. This month, the secretary of state’s office began distributing change of address information from driving records to county boards of elections at least twice a week. That information can then be used by the county boards to update addresses for registered voters. Effectively sharing that data is a component of the voter registration act. Despite being law since 1993, Ohio was not in compliance with that requirement. Efforts to comply with another component of the federal law that also deals with voter addresses, meanwhile, drew new criticism last week from Democrats who question whether voters will be improperly purged from the rolls. Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted says that in his view, his office is properly following the federal law.
Ohio: House Upholds Landis’ Victory – Last Contested Legislative Race of the 2012 Election | The Times-Reporter
State Rep. Al Landis says he can turn his full attention to representing the residents of Tuscarawas and Holmes counties in Columbus, now that the Ohio House of Representatives has voted to uphold his victory in November’s disputed 98th District contest. “This will allow me to deal with the issues of the 98th District,” the Dover Republican said Wednesday, hours after the GOP-controlled House voted 58-32 along party lines to affirm his victory. “I think the focus of the House will be different now, since this isn’t hanging out there,” he said. “They can get back to focusing on legislation for the state.” Landis was one of two House members who abstained from voting on the resolution naming him the winner. “I recused myself on all issues involved in the process,” he said.
A first-of-its-kind statewide review found instances of voter fraud in Ohio during last year’s presidential election but not rampant abuses, the elections chief in the battleground state said Thursday. Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted said the investigation he ordered in January by Ohio’s 88 county election boards resulted in 135 substantiated cases being referred to law enforcement for further investigation out of 625 reported cases of voting irregularities. That included 20 individuals Husted was referring to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Thursday who appear to have registered and cast ballots in both Ohio and another state. They included a man who voted in person in both Ohio and Kentucky on Election Day and a woman who cast an absentee ballot in Virginia then voted in person in Ohio. “Voter fraud does exist, but it’s not an epidemic,” Husted said.