Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 5:28 AM
Ohio may be one of the most watched states during big election years, but the state needs to work to get to the top of the list of the states with the best-run elections. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler has the results of a new study.
With all the attention paid to battleground Ohio, there have been a lot of stories about fraud, voter suppression and other election-related crises. David Becker is with the Pew Center on the States.
“Everyone’s always looking at Ohio during an election, particularly a presidential election. The media is camped out there, there’s a tremendous amount of scrutiny. So the stories that come out about the election are largely going to focus on those places like Ohio and Florida where there’s a lot of scrutiny. What we found is if you look at the hard data, sometimes you find some surprises, sometimes you don’t. But here is a case where Ohio performed pretty much right in the middle - maybe a little bit slightly below the middle in 2008.”
Ohio scored in the 60 percent range among all states - doing well because of a high rate of military ballots returned and the addition of post-election audits in 2010, but losing points because of high rates of rejection of absentee and provisional ballots. Becker says lawmakers could look at one thing that the top states all have in common.
“In 2008, four of top five states had election day registration or no registration, in the case of North Dakota. So that policy seems to correlate with high performance in a way that very few other specific policies do, and that continued on in 2010 where four of the top 10 states had election day registration or no registration.”
That seems unlikely, as Ohio has moved toward narrowing the voter registration window. The report will be updated later this year with data from the 2012 election.
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