Election board meeting: GOP only
The Associated Press reports:
The Ohio Republican Party has invited Republican elections board members from around the state to gather at a private meeting Tuesday to discuss “the party’s response to the Secretary of State’s voting proposals,” according to an e-mail from a party official obtained Monday by The Associated Press.
The e-mail, which said, “your efforts to keep the information above confidential are appreciated,” comes at a time when Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has directed and recommended widespread changes to touch-screen voting systems across the state.
Elections officials in at least three counties have balked at Brunner’s directive that counties with touch-screen machines make a certain number of paper ballots available during the March primary for voters who don’t want to use the machines.
The counties have also said they will have trouble complying with Brunner’s recommendation that the 57 counties that use touch-screen machines scrap them in favor of an optical-scan system, in which ballots filled out by hand are tabulated by computer scanners.
The private Republican meeting injects partisanship into a debate over voting technology that shouldn’t be political, Brunner said Monday.
“This is not about political gamesmanship,” Brunner said. “It’s about doing what’s right for the voters of Ohio of both parties.”
The meeting is an effort to gather feedback from Republican elections board members, said Jason Mauk, executive director of the Ohio Republican Party, who sent the e-mail. With Republican and Democratic members evenly making up each elections board, the process is partisan in nature, he said.
“I don’t think it’s any secret that Ohio has election boards made up of partisan members and we believe it’s important to communicate with those people on the boards who are affiliated with the Republican Party,” Mauk said.
“Our board members would not argue that this is a partisan decision.”
When asked whether Democrats were holding a similar meeting, Brunner said, “Absolutely not.”