Privacy curtains vetoed for new voting machines

Franklin County Board of Elections Director, Matthew Damschroder, says it would cost the county more than one million dollars to mount privacy curtains on its thousands of voting machines. The board of elections purchased the Diebold voting machines last year. Damschroder says any available money should be spent training poll workers instead of buying more equipment. Peg Rosenfield of the League of Womens Voters echoes those sentiments.

But some voting groups says it’s not that simple.

Ryan O’Donnell is a spokesman for fairvote.org, a non-profit organization that promotes voter turnout and fair elections. O’Donnell says the federal election system makes it hard to implement standards for things such as privacy curtains because local boards of elections operate independently.

O’Donnell says Fairvote is urging Congress to create more nationwide standards for funding, equipment, and election standards. Ohio ACLU Executive Director, Chris Link, says O’Donnell is kind with his comments about elections officials. Link says Franklin County’s decision to not purchase curtains is part of an ongoing disregard for voter rights.

Link says pole workers also need to be careful to not infringe on voter privacy. Damschroder says poll workers will set up machine doors to block others’ views.

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