Ohio

Articles about voting issues in Ohio.

Ohio: Federal judge deals another blow to group challenging voter roll purge | Cleveland Plain Dealer

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that notification forms Ohio sends to voters in its process to remove inactive voters from its rolls are compliant with federal law, dealing another blow to a group challenging the state’s voter purge process. The groups suing Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said all voters the state deleted from its rolls from 1995 through 2016 through a disputed process were actually removed unlawfully because the state’s notices for removal didn’t comply with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. Senior U.S. District Judge George Smith disagreed in an opinion issued Wednesday, largely ruling against the plaintiffs and saying the forms complied with federal law. He struck down arguments from the plaintiffs that said voters weren’t told of the deadlines to respond to the forms and weren’t informed of the consequences of failing to respond.

Full Article: Federal judge deals another blow to group challenging Ohio's voter roll purge | cleveland.com.

Ohio: Challenge to Ohio’s voting roll purges persists after Supreme Court decision | Cleveland Plain Dealer

Three months after they lost a U.S. Supreme Court challenge to Ohio’s process for removing inactive voters from its rolls, the lawsuit’s plaintiffs are back in federal court with a related claim: the notification forms Ohio used to initiate voter removal are illegal. The plaintiffs say all voters the state deleted from the rolls from 1995 through 2016 through the disputed process upheld by the Supreme Court were actually removed unlawfully because the state’s notices for removal didn’t comply with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. On Sept. 14, the Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute, the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and Larry Harmon asked U.S. District Judge George C. Smith to reinstate all eligible voters who were sent the deficient notices, or take other measures to protect their voting rights in next month’s election.

Full Article: Challenge to Ohio's voting roll purges persists after Supreme Court decision | cleveland.com.

Ohio: Groups seek expanded voting opportunities | The Toledo Blade

With Ohio facing a rare general election these days without major litigation hanging over the ballot process, voting rights groups on Wednesday staked out their hopes for future changes to make voting easier. The Ohio Voter Rights Coalition, consisting of groups like the League of Women Voters of Ohio and the new All Voting is Local, called for automatic voter registration for those eligible to vote, expanded early voting hours and days, and improvements in online voter registration. “When a quarter of those who are eligible are not registered and we have even worse turnout rates, we understand that the system is clearly not working,” League Executive Director Jen Miller said. While none of these proposed changes could happen in time to affect the Nov. 6 election, these discussions have been incorporated into the debate over who will succeed Secretary of State Jon Husted. The next secretary of state will be either state Sen. Frank LaRose (R., Hudson) or state Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D., Kent).

Full Article: Groups seek expanded voting opportunities - The Blade.

Ohio: Cybersecurity Reserve Could Soon Respond to Network Emergencies | Government Technology

Armed with keyboards and processors, Ohio’s newest security force may one day deploy not to deal with natural disasters, but rather network disasters. Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, Ohio’s adjutant general, said that under the direction of Gov. John Kasich, he started the Ohio Cyber Collaboration Committee to determine what Ohio needs to do to improve cybersecurity and training. Part of those efforts, he said, is to create an Ohio Cyber Reserve Force, a team of civilian information-technology experts that could be activated by the governor, working for the Ohio National Guard, to respond to major cyberattacks against state or local infrastructures. “If there is a major incident within the state then the governor could call them out and put them on state active duty, just like we do with the National Guard,” Bartman said.

Full Article: An Ohio Cybersecurity Reserve Could Soon Respond to Network Emergencies.

Ohio: Republican officials lose bid to dismiss gerrymandering suit over congressional map | Cleveland Plain Dealer

Three federal judges have rejected a request by Republican elected leaders in Ohio to dismiss a lawsuit that says the judges should toss out the state’s congressional district map because it’s gerrymandered. Judges Karen Nelson Moore, Timothy Black and Michael Watson ruled Wednesday that the constitutional violations the group challenging Ohio’s map allege are still germane despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the issue from earlier this year.

Full Article: Ohio Republican officials lose bid to dismiss gerrymandering suit over congressional map | cleveland.com.

Ohio: Panel Advances Challenge to Ohio Voting Maps | Courthouse News

A three-judge panel on Wednesday declined to throw out a gerrymandering lawsuit against Republican officials in Ohio, finding that a group of Democratic voters established legal standing to bring the challenge. In May, a coalition of Democratic voters and groups, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, sued Governor John Kasich and other Republican lawmakers in Cincinnati federal court. They urged the court to enjoin a 2011 redistricting statute that the GOP used to redraw maps, arguing it gave an unfair advantage to Republicans at the expense of Democratic voters. Republicans would win 12 congressional districts and Democrats four districts, even as the statewide share of the vote for each party shifted over three congressional elections between 2013 and 2016.

Full Article: Panel Advances Challenge to Ohio Voting Maps.

Ohio: Counties Consider Move from Electronic to Paper Voting Systems | Government Technology

A new generation of voting machines may soon be on the way thanks to a bill signed by Gov. John Kasich, which will allow $114.5 million to be distributed among Ohio’s 88 counties. “New” generation, however, may mean taking a step back in time. Voters in 41 counties, including Butler, Montgomery and Greene, have been using direct-recording electronic voting machines, or DREs, which requires the use of a touchscreen. But now, more counties are considering using paper ballots, as no DRE machine is currently certified for use in Ohio. That leaves many counties looking at a switch to paper ballots and optical-scanning equipment to count ballots, or hybrid systems coming at more than twice the price that employ touchscreens to mark a paper ballot. “I know people think that’s going backwards,” Butler County Board of Elections Director Diane Noonan said. “But you have to look at these machines and understand that paper is not what they think it is.” Warren, Preble and Clark counties already use paper ballots.

Full Article: Ohio Counties Consider Move from Electronic to Paper Voting Systems.

Ohio: Franklin County finds hundreds of uncounted votes in already too-close-to-call special election | The Hill

Ohio election officials on Wednesday found 588 previously uncounted votes in its hotly contested special election for the state’s 12th Congressional District. Officials found the votes in a Columbus suburb, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, netting Democratic candidate Danny O’Connor 190 more votes and narrowing his race against Republican Troy Balderson to 1,564 votes. “The votes from a portion of one voting location had not been processed into the tabulation system,” the Franklin County Board of Elections said in a news release obtained by the paper. Balderson, who was backed by President Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) during his campaign, claimed a narrow victory on Tuesday night for the district which Trump won and which has been held by a Republican since 1983.

Full Article: Ohio county finds hundreds of uncounted votes in already too-close-to-call special election | TheHill.

Ohio: This is why election ballots go missing | USA Today

The “missing ballots” in Ohio’s special election have caused a stir – but analysts said they really aren’t a mystery and often pop up in elections across the country. Under the rush of election nights, voting precinct officials nationwide often misplace ballots or send them to the wrong office. And those ballots are just as often discovered via audits or recounts, analysts said. “It’s not unusual,” said Fred Wertheimer, founder and president of Democracy 21, a watchdog organization based in Washington, D.C. “It’s one of the reasons people do recounts in close races.” Post-election audits also yield uncounted votes, as happened this week in the special election for Ohio’s 12th congressional district.

Full Article: Ohio special election: This is why election ballots go missing.

Ohio: In New Wave of Voting Machine Purchases, Ohio Moves Toward Paper Ballots | Dayton Daily News

County election boards across Ohio are preparing to buy a new generation of voting machines, and although it’s unclear what systems will be chosen, it’s becoming more likely that tens of thousands of voters in southwest Ohio will fill out paper ballots rather than voting on touchscreens as soon as the May election. “It could be a departure for the polling locations,” said Jan Kelly, Montgomery County Board of Elections director. “They really aren’t like what we have now.” Voters in Montgomery County along with those in Butler, Darke, Greene and Miami counties and 36 others, currently use DRE machines, or direct-recording electronic voting machines that have touchscreens. But as election officials work now to get new systems online and proven before the 2020 presidential election, no DRE machine has been certified for use in Ohio, according to officials. 

Full Article: Paper ballots likely to replace touchscreen voting for many area voter.

Ohio: Purged voters can cast ballots in U.S. House special election | The Columbus Dispatch

Ohioans who have been purged from state voting rolls since 2011 will be allowed to cast provisional ballots in Tuesday’s special U.S. House election between Republican Troy Balderson and Democrat Danny O’Connor. Secretary of State Jon Husted instructed county boards of elections on Tuesday to accept the ballots of those purged for failing to vote during a six-year span and failing to respond to notices asking them to verify their status. Their votes will be counted after the election once their purging from voting rolls and other information is confirmed. Husted’s office could not estimate how many purged voters could cast ballots on Tuesday. The directive was the result of a federal court order following mediation with plaintiffs and after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in their suit, according to Husted’s memo to county election officials. The plaintiffs reversed course after an earlier agreement and asked that those purged be allowed to vote on Aug. 7. The court agreed.

Full Article: Purged voters can cast ballots in U.S. House special election - News - The Columbus Dispatch - Columbus, OH.

Ohio: Voter purge process restarted with changes to help prevent unnecessary cancellations | Cleveland Plain Dealer

Ohio will restart its controversial voter purge process in the coming weeks, with a few changes to help prevent eligible voters from being removed from the rolls. No voter registrations will be canceled before this November’s mid-term election because federal law bars cancellations within 90 days of an election, and a special election will be held in August for Pat Tiberi’s congressional seat. But county boards of election can begin identifying voters who have not voted in the past two years and mailing them a “confirmation notice,” Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted advised elections officials in a new directive. Notices must be mailed by Aug. 6. Voters then have four years to return the notice, update their registration address or vote. If they don’t, they will be assumed to have moved out of state or died and their registrations will be canceled.

Full Article: Ohio restarts voter purge process with changes to help prevent unnecessary cancellations | cleveland.com.

Ohio: Voting machine bill goes to Kasich | Delaware Gazette

An Ohio Senate bill giving the secretary of state the authority to request up to $114.5 million in state funds for the individual counties to upgrade to the next generation of voting equipment only waits on Governor John Kasich’s signature to become law. The timing of the funds is advanced enough to allow counties the chance to have personnel trained and the bugs worked before the 2020 presidential election. Senate Bill 135, sponsored by Senator Frank LaRose (R-Hudson), received concurrence Wednesday from the Senate after passing the House Thursday, June 7 with a vote of 87-0. The bill was co-sponsored by both Delaware County representatives Rick Carfagna, R-Genoa Township (68th District) and Andrew Brenner, R-Powell (67th District).

Full Article: Voting machine bill goes to Kasich - Delaware Gazette.

Ohio: No voters will be purged before November election, secretary of state says | Cleveland Plain Dealer

Monday’s Supreme Court decision upholding Ohio’s process of canceling certain voter registrations won’t affect elections held in August and November this year. No voters will be removed as a result of failing to vote for several years, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office confirmed Tuesday. Ohio’s 88 county board of elections were directed on Monday to not take any action to use the state’s “supplemental process” for removing voters from the rolls ahead of the November election. The supplemental process allows elections officials to cancel registrations if a voter has not cast a ballot in two years and then fails to vote or respond to a notice within the following four years.

Full Article: No Ohio voters will be purged before November election, secretary of state says | cleveland.com.

Ohio: U.S. Supreme Court upholds Ohio’s process for updating voter registration rolls: Read the decision here | Cleveland Plain Dealer

A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld Ohio’s method for removing ineligible voters from its rolls, saying it does not violate any part of the National Voter Registration Act. Failure to cast a ballot for two years triggers Ohio’s removal process. Notices are sent to voters whose registration is flagged. Registration is canceled if there’s no response to the notices, no votes are cast during the next four years and the voter’s address isn’t updated. “Ohio removes the registrants at issue on a permissible ground: change of residence,” said the 5-4 decision authored by Justice Samuel Alito. “The failure to return a notice and the failure to vote simply serve as evidence that a registrant has moved, not as the ground itself for removal.”

Full Article: U.S. Supreme Court upholds Ohio's process for updating voter registration rolls: Read the decision here | cleveland.com.

Ohio: State Awaits Supreme Court Ruling In Voter Removal Case | WVXU

Any day now, the U.S. Supreme Court may decide a case that could change how Ohio removes people from voter rolls. The court heard arguments in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute in January. Federal law lays out a process for taking people’s names off the registered voter list if they have moved to a new address and haven’t updated election officials. Ohio is one of several states to begin the removal process if voters skip elections and don’t have other contact with their local election board. … Under federal law, state election officials can send a forwardable confirmation mailer to the address asking if the voter still lives there. A voter can send the card back in either to confirm that they do, or to update their address. If state officials don’t receive any response, federal law requires them to wait four years. If the voter doesn’t cast a ballot or update their address, they can be taken off the rolls.

Full Article: Ohio Awaits Supreme Court Ruling In Voter Removal Case | WVXU.

Ohio: Voting Equipment Money Inches Through Ohio Legislature | GovTech

A bill that would provide nearly $115 million to counties to help upgrade aging voting equipment, reimburse election boards for more recent machine purchases and set up a unified purchasing and leasing program through the Ohio Secretary of State passed a statehouse panel Wednesday. The measure approved by the House Finance Committee already passed the Ohio Senate. It is in limbo for when the full House will take up the issue. House members must first elect a new speaker for legislation to move forward. The Butler County Board of Elections has about 1,600 voting machines, but there are about 150 that are unusable, according to the elections office, and on average 50 voting machines need repairs after each election.

Full Article: Voting Equipment Money Inches Through Ohio Legislature.

Ohio: Lawsuit seeks to toss out congressional map in time for 2020 election | Cleveland Plain Dealer

federal lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cincinnati seeks to toss out Ohio’s gerrymandered congressional district map on constitutional grounds and create more balanced districts in time for the 2020 election. If successful, the suit would move up the timetable by two years for congressional redistricting reform in Ohio. And it could jeopardize some of what otherwise would be safe incumbent seats during a presidential election year. Ohioans earlier this month voted overwhelmingly to establish rules aimed at eliminating political gerrymandering in time for the next scheduled map drawing, but those rules would not affect any election until 2022.

Full Article: Lawsuit seeks to toss out Ohio's congressional map in time for 2020 election | cleveland.com.

Ohio: Ohio Goes to Court Over Ballot Image Preservation | WhoWhatWhy

Electronic voting hasn’t guaranteed fairness in elections so far. But digital-scanning technology has the potential to increase transparency in elections — if election officials flip the right switches. Digital scanners capture images of each paper ballot cast and use the images to count results. The machines can preserve the images, providing a quick and easy way to verify election results. But the settings can be adjusted to discard the images after the results are tabulated. Some election officials are quick to defend their right to trash the ballot images, despite the fact that the machines count the images, not the paper ballots. The latest contest over ballot image preservation is currently underway in Ohio, where the Green Party candidate for governor, Constance Gadell-Newton, filed an expedited lawsuit against Cuyahoga County, Franklin County, and Secretary of State Jon Husted (R).

Full Article: Ohio Goes to Court Over Ballot Image Preservation - WhoWhatWhy.

Ohio: Voters pass redistricting reform initiative | The Hill

Ohio voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure that will reform the state’s redistricting process, creating a mandate for bipartisanship in the decennial remapping process. With about half the votes counted a few hours after polls closed, about three quarters of Ohio voters backed the initiative, State Issue One. The ballot measure asked voters whether they wanted to amend the state constitution to require bipartisan support when drawing new congressional district lines. Any new maps would require three-fifths support in the state House and Senate, including support from at least half the members of the minority party. If Republicans and Democrats in the legislature cannot agree on a map, a seven-member bipartisan commission would be assigned to draw new maps. Those maps would have to be approved with at least two votes from the minority party. If the bipartisan commission fails, the legislature would be allowed to try to draw 10-year maps that earn support from one-third of the minority party or a four-year map with only majority support. 

Full Article: Ohio voters pass redistricting reform initiative | TheHill.