A Green Township state senator, one of Ohio’s most controversial and colorful, is pushing bills that opponents say would keep the Libertarian Party candidate off the gubernatorial ballot and would lead to higher prices for electricity users. The first bill would set rules for small political parties to follow if they want their candidates to appear on Ohio ballots, after a federal appeals court struck down Ohio’s previous rules. The second would loosen the energy-efficiency and demand-management rules the state passed in 2008. Republican Sen. Bill Seitz defended both his bills Wednesday in committee hearings. Opponents will get chances to speak against the bills this fall. They’re already making their views known, though, setting the bills up for a fight. “This is the John Kasich Re-election Protection Act,” Aaron Keith Harris, a spokesman for the Libertarian Party of Ohio, said of Seitz’s political party bill.
Articles about voting issues in Ohio.
The head of the Licking County Board of Elections knows she’s in for a bumpy November after nearly half of the county’s voting locations were eliminated. “People are going to be upset, and I understand that,” said Director Sue Penick. “But we’re playing with their money and trying to ultimately be fiscally responsible with it. Hopefully, we’ve done that.” Most central Ohio counties have streamlined their precincts in recent years, and Licking County became the latest by announcing on Tuesday that it is eliminating 30 precincts and more than 20 polling locations. The move is expected to save about $20,000. Licking County will go from 125 precincts to 95, and consolidate 47 voting locations into 24 or 26 for the November election. The impetus, besides cost-cutting, was efficiency, Penick said. Seven precincts that served villages with fewer than 200 voters were consolidated into locations that now will serve a village/township split.
Ohio: Court Expands Ballot Access Rights for Independent Candidates in Judicial Elections | Ballot Access News
On September 9, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously expanded the ability of independent candidates to run for judicial office, including not only judgeship elections, but elections for Clerk of a Court. The decision is State ex rel Coughlin v Summit County Board of Elections, 2013-3867. Ohio and Michigan have peculiar elections for judicial office. Candidates are either nominated in partisan primaries or in party conventions, or they can petition directly onto the general election ballot if they do not wish to be entangled with political parties. But, oddly, no party names ever appear on the ballot for these elections. Ambiguity in the English language makes it unclear whether to refer to such elections as “partisan” or “non-partisan.”
Hundreds of Hamilton County poll workers will be retrained – and 163 “retired” – as a result of voting problems in the 2012 election. That includes 94 workers at 16 precincts that will be completely restaffed because of a high number of errors. The others failed to vote themselves and/or performed poorly on Election Day. Those 163 poll workers represent about 5.6 percent of poll workers – the most ever who aren’t being asked back. The move comes as board of elections officials continue to work to find the 2,905 poll workers needed to staff the county’s 545 polling locations.
If you want to register to vote in Ohio, you need to go to your local election board to do that. But a bill by Republican State Senator Frank LaRose would allow Ohioans to register to vote online. It would also give voters the opportunity to request an absentee ballot online. And it would use technology to improve the exchange of voter data among states and state agencies. Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted says this is a good bill. ”We’ve been waiting for several years for the general assembly to take action on online voter registration,” says Husted. ” It’s really the next step in modernizing our election system and making it more secure and online registration does that.” Husted says online registration does something else – save money. ”This will actually serve as a cost savings because we will handle the work through the Secretary of State’s office. And the savings will accrue for local taxpayers as we save money in the 88 counties that will ultimately have to implement this into their systems,” says Husted. “It would have saved, in the last election cycle, about 3 million dollars.” The Democrat who wants to take Husted’s job next year says she doesn’t have a problem with the legislation. State Senator Nina Turner says it’s a good idea. But she says the devil is in the details. And there’s already one place where she sees a potential problem.
Ohio: Senator’s proposal would allow Ohioans to register to vote through online system | Cleveland Plain Dealer
A Republican senator wants to make voter registration available online, a move he says will make voting more accessible to Ohioans while also saving money for boards of election across the Buckeye State. Sen. Frank LaRose introduced his plan Thursday. It would direct the secretary of state to create a secure statewide system online that voters could use to register. “The big picture is … to make the process more accessible and also more accurate and efficient,” LaRose said in an interview. His proposal also would set up a secure system to let voters request absentee ballots, and would expand the number of state agencies that share data they already collect to check against the state’s voter database to correct errors.
A federal judge extended a 2010 court decree that governs Ohio’s provisional ballots and voter identification requirements, which voter advocates say has kept elections from becoming the “Wild West.” The agreement ensures that election officials count votes cast provisionally when voters use the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley today. He extended the order until the end of 2016, after the next presidential election in the battleground state. Marbley said that without the decree, “there is nothing to prevent boards of election from returning to those haphazard and, in some cases, illegal practices, which previously resulted in the invalidation of validly cast ballots from registered voters.”
County elections officials say they think a clerical error is to blame for 19 Columbus police officers having their voting addresses listed as the Downtown police headquarters. Workers at the Franklin County Board of Elections earlier this year discovered voters who had registered their voting address as the police building on Marconi Boulevard. The registrations were caught as workers scoured the voting rolls for nonresidential addresses at the direction of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. Husted isn’t particularly concerned about police officers registering their work addresses, spokesman Matt McClelland said. Instead, he wants local election officials to find out if people are registering the addresses of Federal Express or United Parcel Service offices where they might keep a mailbox, or other means of masking their home address.
Voter fraud was one of hottest topics leading into the 2012 Election, and while the media microscope has since focused away from it, it’s far from disappeared. In fact, one case in Cincinnati can potentially land several police officers in jail. According to Cincinnati.com, thirty law enforcement officers in Hamilton County are facing up to a year in prison after a Board of Elections staffer discovered they registered to vote using their police station’s addresses as their own. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has since ordered county Boards of Elections across the state to review voter rolls and flag any commercial addresses used by individuals to register to vote.
Calling her a common criminal who abused her authority as a poll worker by violating the principle of “one person, one vote,” a judge sent Melowese Richardson to prison Wednesday for five years following her illegal voting conviction. “This is not a little thing. It’s not a minor thing. This is what our country’s based on – free elections,” Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Ruehlman told Richardson. In a case watched around the country, Richardson was a Hamilton County poll worker from 1998 until her arrest earlier this year when she was charged with eight counts of illegal voting. In May, she accepted a plea deal and was convicted of four counts in exchange for the other four being dismissed. She was convicted of voting twice in the 2012 election and voting three times – in 2008, 2011 and 2012 – for her sister, Montez Richardson, who has been in a coma since 2003.