Ohio SOS Pledges Smoother Election

By: - August 26, 2008 12:00 am

DENVER- Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, elected two years ago on a promise to fix the state’s voting systems, is predicting a smoother election this fall when a record 80 percent of voters are expected to show up to cast ballots.

“This year you’ll see a big difference in Ohio than what you’ve seen in the past,” Brunner told an audience of journalists and voting analysts convened by electionline.org.

President George W. Bush was re-elected in 2004 by winning Ohio. But the election was marred by allegations of vote fraud in some places and inconsistent rules applied between counties that could have favored Bush. There were long lines and problems with inexperienced poll workers.

By creating a more transparent voting process, Brunner said, “we fret less about the mechanics” of voting and on the results themselves.

She defended her decision to require voters in 56 counties that use electronic touch screen voting machines to have the option of using paper ballots in November.

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Stephen Fehr

Stephen Fehr is a senior officer with Pew’s government performance portfolio. He is a lead writer on many of the products generated by the portfolio, specializing in state and local fiscal health.