Ohio voting issues

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2008 election events

Election and registration information


Voter ID requirements

All voters must bring identification to the polls in order to verify their identity. Identification may include a current and valid photo identification, military identification; or a copy of a current (within the last 12 months) utility bill (including cell phone bill), bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document, other than a notification mailed by the board of elections, that shows the voter’s name and current address (including from a public college or university). Voters who do not provide one of these documents at the polling place will still be able to vote a provisional ballot as described earlier in this guide, and may provide such identification to the board of elections within the 10 days following Election Day.

Voters who do not have any of the above forms of identification, including a Social Security number, will still be able to vote by signing an affirmation statement swearing to the voter's identity under penalty of election falsification and by casting a provisional ballot.[1]

Provisional voting

Every voter must provide proof of identity at the time of voting. A person who casts a provisional ballot and does not provide acceptable proof of identity at the time of voting is allowed to provide such proof within 10 days after the election, in accordance with law.[2]

A provisional ballot is used to record a vote if a voter's eligibility is in question and the voter would otherwise not be permitted to vote at his or her polling place. The content of a provisional ballot is no different from a regular ballot, but it is cast "provisionally" until election officials can verify the voter's eligibility.[2]

There are several scenarios in which a voter may cast a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot may be used on Election Day if a voter's eligibility is in question, or before (or on) Election Day if a voter has recently changed his or her address or name and did not update his or her voter registration.[2]

Any of the following scenarios would require you to cast a provisional ballot on Election Day[2]:

  • Your name does not appear on the official poll list for an election, or an election official asserts that you are not eligible to vote or is unable to determine your eligibility;
  • You are unable or decline to provide the required proof of identity, which includes a current and valid photo identification, military identification; or a copy of a current (within the last 12 months) utility bill (including cell phone bill), bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and current address (including from a public college or university).

(Note: You cannot use as proof of identification a notice that the board of elections mailed to you.);

  • Your name appears on the poll list or signature book as having requested an absentee ballot;
  • Your name is marked on the poll list or signature book with a notation that registration mailings have been returned as undeliverable;
  • A hearing on a challenge to your eligibility as an elector has been postponed until after Election Day;
  • Your signature, in the opinion of the precinct officers, does not match the signature on your registration form; or
  • Your eligibility to cast a ballot has been challenged by the precinct officers.

Before your provisional ballot can be included in the official count of an election, the board of elections must confirm your eligibility to cast the ballot, as well as the validity of the ballot that you cast.[2]

If you cast your provisional ballot and provided acceptable proof of identity, you typically do not need to provide any additional information to the board of elections.[2]

If you cast a provisional ballot and did not provide acceptable proof of identity at the time of voting, you must appear in person at the board of elections to provide such proof within the 10 days immediately following Election Day, in accordance with Ohio law. The following guidelines apply[2]:

  1. If you cast a provisional ballot because you had - but could not provide to election officials at the time you voted - acceptable proof of your identity or the last four digits of your Social Security number, you must provide to the board of elections one of the following:
    1. Acceptable proof of your identity in the form of a current and valid photo identification;
    2. A military identification;
    3. A copy of a current (within the last 12 months) utility bill (including cell phone bill), bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document (but not a voter registration notification mailed by a board of elections) that shows your name and current address (including from a public college or university); or
    4. The last four digits of your Social Security number.
  2. If you cast a provisional ballot because, at the time you voted, you had - but declined to provide - an acceptable form of identification or the last four digits of your Social Security number, and you declined to execute the written affirmation statement swearing to your identity under penalty of election falsification, you must provide to the board of elections one of the following:
    1. Acceptable proof of your identity in the form of a current and valid photo identification;
    2. A military identification;
    3. A copy of a current (within the last 12 months) utility bill (including cell phone bill), bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document (but not a voter registration notification mailed by a board of elections) that shows your name and current address (including from a public college or university); or
    4. The last four digits of your Social Security number.
  3. If you cast a provisional ballot because, at the time you voted, you did not have any acceptable form of identification or a Social Security number, and you declined to execute the written affirmation statement swearing to your identity under penalty of election falsification, you must provide to the board of elections one of the following:
    1. Acceptable proof of your identity in the form of a current and valid photo identification;
    2. A military identification;
    3. A copy of a current (within the last 12 months) utility bill (including cell phone bill), bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document (but not a voter registration notification mailed by a board of elections) that shows your name and current address (including from a public college or university);
    4. The last four digits of your Social Security number; or
    5. A signed affirmation statement (provided by the board of elections) stating that you do not have any of the above items.
  4. If you cast a provisional ballot because your right to vote was challenged at the polling place under R.C. 3505.20, and the election officials either determined that you were ineligible to vote or were unable to determine your eligibility, you must provide any identification or other documentation required to resolve the challenge.

See Ohio Secretary of State Provisional Voting Information Page

Main article: Provisional voting

Voting machines

2008 election

For the 2008 election Ohio used the following voting machines. For a county-by-county list of the specific machines (and the source for this section) see Verified Votings' Verifier tool.

Main article: Voting machines

Direct-Recording Electronic (DRE) machines with a paper trail:

Optical scan machines:

Assistive Devices for Marking Paper Ballots:

Governmental election authorities

  • Secretary of State: Jennifer Brunner
  • General Agency Phone Number: 877-767-6446 (SOS-OHIO) or local 614-466-2655
  • Elections division 614-466-2585
  • For email contacts use the form at the website.


Election threats

Summary
  • On voter registration, Judges rule Ohio must set up registration verification system. Common Cause rates parts of Ohio's voter registration system as "unsatisfactory." NYT story mentions voter purging threat in Ohio.
  • On voter education, Common Cause rates parts of Ohio's voter education system as "unsatisfactory."
  • On absentee and early voting, Reports that McCain campaign is mailing absentee ballot applications that will be invalidated.
  • On voter suppression and intimidation, A Brennan Center report on voter roll purges includes an Ohio Case Study. Project Vote warns that significant numbers of minority voters might be purged from the voter roles. There are numerous reports of fraud, intimidation and suppression problems in past elections.
  • On polling places and voting, Common Cause rates polling place preparedness as "unsatisfactory" and there are numerous reports of past voting machine problems.
  • On provisional ballots, Common Cause rates Ohio's preparedness as "unsatisfactory" in some areas.
  • On vote verification and security,... (needs information)
Main article: Ohio election threats


State and local non-governmental election organizations

Citizens’ Alliance for Secure Elections - CASE Ohio

Description[3]: The Citizens’ Alliance for Secure Elections (C.A.S.E.) is a non-partisan organization of citizens from across Ohio who advocate for elections that are secure, reliable, and employ the nation’s best practices. We inform the public, the media, political leaders and government officials about problems in Ohio which we believe compromise our voting system, and about the best solutions to these problems.


League of Women Voters

LWV of Ohio, Linda Lalley, President

  • 17 South High Street, Suite 650
  • Columbus, OH 43215-3413
  • Phone: 614-469-1505
  • Fax 614-469-7918
  • E-mail: lwvoinfo@lwvohio.org
  • membership@lwvohio.org
  • http://www.lwvohio.org

Local Leagues:

Articles and resources

See also

Election law


References

  1. From Secretary of State voting procedures web page.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Information from Ohio Secretary of state Provisional ballot information web page
  3. CASE Ohio description from website. Retrieved October 24, 2008.

External resources

Poll location

Election Protection hotlines

Voting information

Voting rights

Voting requirements

Election officials, election reform groups, and elected officials

Absentee voting

Disabled voters

Student voting rights

State ballot

  • See how organizations you trust recommend you vote on ballot measures and other statewide contests at TransparentDemocracy.

Languages

  • Help in other languages from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. 中文, 日本語, 한국어, Tagalog, Tiếng Việt, Español

Voting machines

Voter Protection Laws in A Nutshell

Voter ID Toolkit

County polling location

Ohio voting problems

External articles