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Ohio Shows Improvement in Voting Day Preparedness

October 27, 2008

Columbus, OH – After long lines, poll worker confusion and machine malfunctions in the past few elections, many Ohioans expect glitches when they head to the polls Nov. 4, but a new study might give voters some reassurance. A new report card released by Common Cause assesses the voting preparedness of all the states and gives Ohio generally good reviews, according to spokeswoman Pam Wilmot.

"Ohio is definitely moving up the list in preparedness. There is one area that absolutely needs to be improved, but the state really got good grades in many areas."

Ohio was given high marks for producing a voter verifiable paper record and for its contingency plans in the event of machine malfunction. However, the study found Ohio needs improvement in post-election audits, according to Wilmot.

"The question is about the machinery after the election. Is it viewed and audited for accurate procedures? In that category, Ohio gets an inadequate grade."

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has said she plans to issue a directive requiring audits this November.

Wilmot says that's important, because all eyes will be on Ohio this election year, with its status as a swing state and problematic elections in the past.

"We do anticipate there will be a lot of people turning out, but there also has been some attempt to deal with the inequities, as previous elections have left some voters with long lines and others with a lot of equipment, not waiting."

Common Cause is working to educate Ohio voters about how to protect their right to vote. Anyone having problems can call 1-866-OURVOTE. More information is available at .

Mary Kuhlman/Elizabeth Grattan, Public News Service - OH