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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Brunner: Didn't want to use 'tea leaves'


Jon Craig reports from Columbus

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said Wednesday that Clermont County, and other counties, did not order enough ballots.

But she said she could not fault individual county Boards of Elections because there was record primary turnout and high rates of crossover voting by Republicans and independents.

Brunner's staff has begun to call counties to find out how many crossover voters there were and how many 10x forms were filled out by pollworkers if someone switches parties within two years.

"Once we start to gather the figures of what rate of crossover was, then we can start to dig into . . .what some of the motivations were."

Brunner said it would have been wrong, and partisan of her, to direct counties to order extra Democratic primary ballots at an additional cost based on public-opinion polls, commentators and news reports.

''That would have been a directive by tea leaves if I had done that,'' she said at a Wednesday news conference.

County boards already have to report to county commissioners on keeping costs reasonable, and are required to keep presidential ballots for 22 months -- so never want to produce an excessive number of blank ballots.

"There's a point where the secretary of state becomes more of a meddler than a help in the operation of the Boards of Elections,'' Brunner said.

"Were I to issue a directive like that based on reading the tea leaves, which is really all it would have been, I think it would have really been more irresponsible and would have been viewed as extremely partisan for whoever was in my position. . .That's why we have bipartisan Boards of Elections."

She does plan to ask counties for statistics and details on voters who signed forms attesting that they switched political parties.

Brunner said she still would like to see the entire state scanning paper ballots on Nov. 4.

"Paper ballots actually saved the day in a number of counties,'' she said. "Had we not had them, the problems would have been much more severe."

Butler County and 56 other counties use electronic touch-screen machines and Brunner is seeking legislative approval to spend more than $60 million to replace them with optical scanners.

"I think we've gone from being in intensive care to walking on crutches. And I think by November we're going to be walking normally on the street like anybody else, and (media and critics) will probably be looking at some other states."


13 Comments:

at 1:33 PM, March 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
Were I to issue a directive like that based on reading the tea leaves, which is really all it would have been, I think it would have really been more irresponsible and would have been viewed as extremely partisan for whoever was in my position. . .That's why we have bipartisan Boards of Elections."

Actually, if she was expecting 52% then she should have had each BOE print 60%, due to damage, etc. !

If 60% of each party were printed then there would not have been a shortage with only 44% voting !

Polls are not tea leaves as the SOS suggests, if done correctly ( correct sample size which most are not ), they are a snap-shot in time with statistical significance !

The SOS remarks seem self-serving and more CYA than credible fact, PERIOD !

That being said , it was an anomaly !

The SOS should publish the hard numbers on each county that were short. The SOS may find, especially in Clermont, that partisanship did play a role in the amount of Dem ballots printed !

The wRong wingnut whackos just can't accept, in fact, that voters are tired of their "culture of corruption', PERIOD !

PATHETIC 'family values' !

HAD ENOUGH, VOTE DEMOCRAT 2008 !

 
at 1:45 PM, March 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jennifer Brunner has got to go!

 
at 2:18 PM, March 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was no real way to predict this. I'm sure that Brunner did the best that she could. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.

 
at 2:34 PM, March 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even when Democrats are heading the Secretary of State's office and the local Boards of election, it is still the fault of Republicans when things go wrong, according the the mental midgets who make up the league of sycophants that call themselves Democrats and write in bold type and caps.

So, it's all Bush's fault.

 
at 2:38 PM, March 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please post the state laws regarding party switching, especially within short periods of time. The period of 2 years was alluded to in the article. How will that impact those who switched Rep. to Dem. or vice versa but wish to switch back at the next primary - for ex. in 2009 for local elections, or in 2010 for state and federal elections?

 
at 4:11 PM, March 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brunner should be fired, she is worse than Blackwell. She has disenfranchised black voters all over the state.

 
at 4:22 PM, March 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The easy fix to this is to have touch screen ballots. It's time to get rid of paper ballots. allow the voter to print their votes to have a record in case there happens to be an issue

 
at 4:34 PM, March 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
" Anonymous said...Even when Democrats are heading the Secretary of State's office and the local Boards of election, it is still the fault of Republicans...the mental midgets who make up the league of sycophants...So, it's all Bush's fault."

Does the the = the ?

Yes - mental midget, indeed !

PATHETIC 'family values' !

HAD ENOUGH, VOTE DEMOCRAT 2008 !

 
at 5:27 PM, March 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder what the useless idiot thinks about all this. Sorry - 'useful' WTF. Just looking for a good laugh for the drive home.

 
at 5:42 PM, March 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ironically, the previous record for primary turnout was in 2000, when Democrats crossed over to vote for McCain against Bush. Somehow, the Republican Secretary of State and local boards were able to handle it. As I recall, the weather, at least here, was great that day. The candidate whose literature I passed out did rather well that day.

 
at 9:54 PM, March 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Democrats disinfranchising voters. How sad. How Un-American

 
at 2:24 AM, March 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would have been par for the course had Brunner, the week before the election, said it would be a success, since no matter what happened, she would have had to say as much to justify her unitary executive mentality that what she wants, no matter how silly or unnecessary it is, she'll get.

During her first election, Brunner said she wouldn't do election turnout predictions. But for this election, giving no reason to change he mind (and the press didn't ask her either), she came out with a prediction that was way off. Maybe she should stick to not predicting.

And for all her mistrust of touch-screen machines that she said needed a paper ballot to remedy, only about 800 Ohioans chose paper ballots out of the millions of people who voted. Based on this fact, it seems she's even more isolated in her decision to spend about $64 million to force everyone to follow her dictates.

Let's hope the Ohio Legislature takes her on by calling her bluff of her study, her recommendations to it and what Ohioans, not she, wants.

This election was far from good, as she would have us believe. The truth is out there.

 
at 8:31 PM, March 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it- Dems got a Democrat Secretary of State and because some Republicans voted for Hillary (instead of Kabaka Oprahbama) they now don't like her any more than Ken Blackwell.

No one complained about (R)s voting for Obama. et tu?

88 Ohio counties and what? Problems in three? And how many precincts in those three?

Grow up crybabies! Fair elections do not mean "perfect" elections.

 
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