Articles about voting issues in Ohio.


Ohio: Expert Says Ohio’s Redistricting Proposal Could Serve As Model For Other States | Ohio Public Radio

A national political expert visited Columbus to talk about the push to change the way state lawmakers’ districts are drawn, and it’s an opportunity to achieve something rare in this country. “That is not a natural community in any sense of the word,” says Michael Li, the redistricting expert at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. He’s pointing to a district map drawn in California. One particular district is just a sliver of land that snakes up the west side of the state. “It stretches almost 200 miles up the coast of California, here it’s barely there—in fact—there’s a point in which it disappears at high tide,” said Li. Li’s notes drew laughter but also point out the odd realities of gerrymandering. This is when one party can draw legislative districts to benefit one party over another. Read More

Ohio: Why Boehner’s resignation may cost Butler County taxpayers $1 Million | Journal-News

Speaker of the House John Boehner’s sudden resignation could cost Butler County up to $1 million, and the state even more, depending on when the governor schedules the special congressional elections. Jocelyn Bucaro, deputy director of the Butler County Board of Elections, told the county commissioners this week it will cost about $1 million to hold special congressional elections for Boehner’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The cost would be half that if Ohio Gov. John Kasich schedules one of the elections to coincide with the March 15 presidential primary. Elections would need to be held in each county of Ohio’s 8th Congressional District, which includes Butler, Clark, Darke, Miami and Preble counties, and part of Mercer County. Read More

Ohio: Issue 1 would change how legislative lines are drawn | Dayton Daily News

Voters will have a chance to change the way politicians draw state legislative district lines when they consider State Issue 1 on November 3. “The drawing of the lines is the single most significant factor in determining who wins,” said former State Rep. Vernon Sykes, an Akron Democrat who with former state Rep. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, is co-chairing the Fair Districts for Ohio campaign promoting State Issue 1. Supporters say the proposed constitutional amendment would upend what has been a largely partisan exercise that allows the party in power to create districts packed with its supporters while marginalizing supporters of the minority party. Lines are redrawn for the Ohio Legislature every 10 years to reflect population shifts. Read More

Ohio: Special election will select replacement for John Boehner’s congressional seat | Cleveland Plain Dealer

A special election will be held for House Speaker John Boehner’s congressional seat, and the field is wide open for who might next represent Ohio’s 8th District. Boehner’s resignation Friday means voters will have to elect someone to finish his term through December 2016. His resignation takes effect Oct. 30 — too late to add his seat to the Nov. 3 General Election. There will be a primary and general election for the seat, and one election could align with an already scheduled election, such as the March 2016 primary. Read More

Ohio: Court: Wording of pot legalization ballot is misleading | The Washington Post

Ohio’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that part of the ballot wording describing a proposal to legalize marijuana in the state is misleading and ordered a state board to rewrite it. Supporters of the measure, known in the fall election as Issue 3, challenged the phrasing of the ballot language and title, arguing certain descriptions were inaccurate and intentionally misleading to voters. Attorneys for the state’s elections chief, a vocal opponent of the proposal, had said the nearly 500-word ballot language was fair. In a split decision, the high court sided with the pot supporters in singling out four paragraphs of the ballot language it said “inaccurately states pertinent information and omits essential information.” Read More

Ohio: Voting Machines Reaching the End of the Line | Public News Service

The end of the line is nearing for Ohio’s electronic voting machines, which a new report indicates could cause trouble during the 2016 election. According to the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, 90 percent of Ohio counties are using machines that are 10 years old. Report co-author Christopher Famighetti says that’s much longer than the machines are designed to last. “Most of us don’t keep our laptops, desktops, over a decade, and that’s the type of technology that most of the machines in use today are using,” he explains. Read More

Ohio: Democrats back push to overhaul redistricting process | Toledo Blade

The Ohio Democratic Party today officially joined the chorus in favor of a ballot issue to overhaul Ohio’s inherently partisan process under which state legislative districts are redrawn every 10 years. The party stood on the sidelines for months while a majority of organizations usually allied with it stood with Republicans to promote Issue 1 on the Nov. 3 ballot. The party’s executive committee waited to run computer models to see how it might fare under the new system before jumping on board. “We weren’t looking for, and we didn’t find, any models that showed we could guarantee ourselves a majority,” party Chairman David Pepper said. “Frankly, that would be gerrymandering just like in the past. What it found, though, was that if Democrats were to win the apportionment board, we could draw many seats that would be likely Democrat seats. But the most important change is there would be many more competitive races.” Read More


Ohio: Electronic poll books will be at voting locations across the state by November 2016 | Cleveland Plain Dealer

Electronic poll books will soon replace the paper books precinct workers use to check in registered voters during elections. Pat McDonald, director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, said he and other directors are elated to jettison the paper books, which is possible because the state will pay 85 percent of the cost. Elections boards are meeting with vendors and expect to have the technology in place by the presidential election in 2016, officials said. The new state budget included a $12.7 million appropriation for e-books, which will be distributed to the 88 counties based on percentage of registered voters. Read More

Ohio: Is Ohio the Next Home Of Hanging Chads? | Politico

In America’s quintessential swing state, aging voting machines and partisan battles are casting doubt over the fairness of the 2016 election. Immediately after the 2004 election, when tens of thousands of Ohioans waited hours to vote, the state enacted a series of reforms that began to address the worst of that year’s nightmares. But now much of that progress is in danger of being undone. The Buckeye State is far from alone. Politicians and advocates are waging similar battles across the country, but the stakes may be highest here, in perhaps the most important of swing states on the national electoral map. With voting laws in flux and funding a for better voting technology a constant struggle nationwide, two central questions remain just 14 months before Election Day: who will be able to vote, and will all their votes be counted accurately? In 2005, Ohio passed a sweeping bill that expanded early and absentee voting, and a series of legal settlements in the following years helped put in place some of the nation’s best electoral practices. But over the past few years, Republicans have been chipping away at many of those changes. GOP leaders say they’re simply trying to guarantee uniformity and prevent voter fraud, but voting rights advocacy groups say the recent changes threaten to bring back problems from the past, and may be driven by an effort to suppress voter turnout. Read More

Ohio: Supporters of Issue 1 say redistricting change to promote ‘fair elections’ | The Columbus Dispatch

In the past two elections, 100 percent of Ohio congressional races and 98 percent of legislative contests were won by the political party favored when the district lines were drawn in 2011. In 2014, Ohio Republican congressional candidates got 57 percent of all votes cast but won 75 percent of the seats. Republican candidates for the Ohio House got 57 percent of the vote and won nearly two-thirds of the seats. “Ohio elections will continue to be entirely predictable until we change how these maps are drawn,” said Carrie Davis, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, which put together the data. “We can fix this. We can fix it this year.” Read More