The position of Secretary of State in Ohio gets lots of attention because it is the chief election official in one of (if not the most) politically competitive states in the nation. But one aspect of the job that many people outside the state don’t realize is the sweeping authority the Secretary possesses to issue directives to county election offices on matters not explicitly covered by state law. The latest example of that power came recently when Secretary Jon Husted issued Directive 2014-16 which requires counties to produce election administration plans (EAPs) in advance of each election, starting with the 2014 general election. Husted’s directive stems in part from the settlement in LWV v. Brunner, which requires the state to produce EAPs.
… In particular, the resource allocation section specifically references the resource calculators endorsed by the PCEA and suggests to counties that they utilize them in preparing their plans. In addition, the directive cites several EAC resources, including the Quick Start Management Guide: Accessibility for use in setting up accessible polling places. While both the PCEA work and EAC materials are well-known in the field, their inclusion in the directive elevates them from “nice to have” optional materials to a greater importance and gives counties an opportunity to test them in practice.