Much has changed in just the past decade or so when it
comes to conducting the election process in Ohio.
For some perspective, think back to the 2000 presidential
election when the buzz words “hanging chads” emerged into our level of
Counting presidential ballots in Florida that year
essentially delayed the country from knowing on election night who the next
president was as workers inspected ballots in Florida it brought in a level of
fear and distrust with how the election process worked.
Not long afterward, legislators in Ohio decided that all
voting equipment in the state needed to have a verifiable paper trail as a way
to audit an election and to make sure that all votes would be counted
That message hit hard in Lake County as the Elections
Board was forced to spend thousands of dollars on new voting equipment to
accommodate this new state requirement.
Eventually other changes in state law were enacted to make
it easier and to provide more opportunities for people to cast their ballots.
No-fault absentee voting was allowed and it gave
registered voters the chance to cast a ballot prior to election day for any
reason and they no longer had to specify why they couldn't vote at the polls.
A ratio approved as state law in 2006 and effective this
year required a voting machine to be available for every 175 registered voters
in each county. It was designed to alleviate long lines at voting precincts.
But what many elections officials have noted is that these
long lines have mostly been alleviated at the polls since the time the
legislation passed and when it was scheduled to be in effect.
The reason is because there are many opportunities for
people to vote either by mail or in-person absentee along with the traditional
method of going to a polling location.
Lake County has 152,878 registered voters and 864
electronic voting machines, so with the ratio in place 54 additional machines
would need to be purchased at a cost ranging from $100,000 to $200,000 —
depending on if the equipment was new or used.
The Ohio Senate version of the budget bill contains
language to remove the ratio provision, which officials argue is no longer
The measure is now in a conference committee involving
Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate members to hammer out differences
between what each chamber passed to deliver a final version of the state budget
for Gov. John
to sign before July 1.
Among the next election initiatives that I believe are
likely to come out soon will be the ability to register to vote through the
Internet. A voter can already check on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website to
see if he or she is registered to vote and even update their address.
If that’s already the case, it shouldn’t be that difficult
to allow voting registration to be available online.
Recently filing candidacy petitions in Lake County were Ted Andrzejewski
for Eastlake mayor: Joe Zawatski
for Willoughby Hills Council at large
two-year term commencing Jan. 1, 2014; David M. Fiebig
Hills Council at large four-year term commencing Jan. 3, 2014.
Recently signing out candidacy petitions with the
Elections Board in Lake County are Edward C. Matyja
for Wickliffe Council
Ward 2, Douglas
for Kirtland Council at large, Geoffrey Snow
Mentor-on-the-Lake Council and Beth Knezevich
State Rep. John Patterson
, D-Jefferson, who
represents Ohio House of Representatives District 76, will speak at a Geauga
County Democratic Party event from 6 to 8 p.m. June 21 at the organization’s
headquarters in Newbury Township.
n Amy Cossick
, candidate for Painesville Township Trustee,
hosts a Campaign Kick-off Fundraiser from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., June 21 at
the Fairport Senior Center. See Cossick.
Andrzejewski hosts his ninth annual golf outing, 8:30
a.m. shotgun start July 19 at Pine Ridge Golf Course in Wickliffe. See
Mentor on the Lake Councilwoman Desirea Thompson
host a Spaghetti dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Aug. 10 at Amvets Post 109 in Mentor
on the Lake. See Desirea or John Thompson
Labels: John Kasich, Lake County, ohio elections, Ohio Secretary of State