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ACLU Calls For Changes In Cuyahoga County Elections

Friday, December 28, 2007 at 6:00 AM

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Voting rights advocates are warning Cuyahoga County elections officials that if they move forward with a plan to switch to a new voting system, they may be violating state law. ideastream's Tasha Flournoy has this report.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio has urged the Board of Elections to reconsider its plan to adopt optical scan voting and tally votes at a central location.

In a letter to the board, ACLU staff attorney Carrie Davis cautioned that tabulating paper ballots at a central location won’t allow voters to check their ballots for mistakes.

Carrie Davis: One of the problems with the central count optical scan system they wanna move to is that it doesn’t tell voters when they’ve made that mistake, when they’ve filled in too many bubbles, and give them a chance to correct it. That results in ballots being thrown out and not counted.

But, the elections board plans to go ahead with the move to optical scan for the March primary.  In a trial “second chance” program, voters at 60 randomly selection locations will be asked to check their ballots.  The trial will run concurrently with a voter education campaign leading up to the primary.

That may not be enough to satisfy the ACLU’s request: The group is considering filing a lawsuit to protect voters’ rights.

Tasha Flournoy, 90.3.

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