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Voter Advocates Criticize Ohio Plan

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 5:30 AM

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A group of voting rights advocates released a report Tuesday that criticizes Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's plan to fix the state's voting problems. ideastream politics reporter Kymberli Hagelberg reports.

The report takes issue with Brunner’s proposal to institute a system that eliminates counting the votes while the ballots are still at the precincts.

According to Lawrence Norden of the New-York based Brennan Center for Justice, Brunner’s recommendation would not give voters a chance to correct their mistakes.

Currently, If a voter mistakenly marks an optical or touch screen ballot for two people in the same race, the machine immediately prompts them to correct the ballot.

Lawrence Norden says not counting votes at the polling places first eliminates a vital second step.

Lawrence Norden: There’s a potential loss of the overvote protection of the machines, being able to tell voters that they’ve made errors, because it’s obvious if it’s going to some central count the machine can’t do that—It’s already too late, they’ve cast their ballot.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections hasn’t decided whether to accept Brunner’s recommendation. They meet Thursday to consider the matter again.

Kymberli Hagelberg, 90.3.

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