The men and women who run Ohio elections wrapped up a three-day conference in Columbus last week, just in time for state lawmakers to return to the capital, where they’re likely to take up changes in Ohio election law. As statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, county elections board members and workers have lots of ideas on how to make elections run smoother. Legislators have been changing election laws a lot over the last two years. So Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted opened the Ohio Association of Elections Officials conference with his list of what he wants lawmakers to take on now.
He started with Congress and the Help America Vote Act – passed in 2002 – which required all states to invest in new voting machines.
“Congress hasn’t fully funded HAVA at the levels initially authorized; either provide the funding or remove the mandate and return the matter back to the states and the local elections officials.”
Those local officials, who run the 88 county boards of elections are evenly split – by law – between Republicans and Democrats. But regardless of party, they have to deal with election law changes at both the state and federal level. Husted’s comments on voting machines were exactly what Scioto County Board of Elections Deputy Director Teresa Knittel, a Democrat, wanted to hear.
“In my opinion, yes, that’s the major thing. Because our voting machines are, I mean, we’re starting to have a lot of problems with them – like on Election Day, we had a lot to go down.”