Columbus is host to the National Hockey League All Star game this week-end. The NHL showcase will bring thousands fans and visitors to the city as well as international media attention.
Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner will decide whether Franklin County voters cast ballots on weekends before the November election. During a meeting Thursday members of the Board of Elections disagreed on weekend balloting.
With only two days before the Ohio primary, there’s been a shake-up at the Franklin County Board of Elections. Republican Matt Damschroder was removed as director Sunday. He’ll remain as a consultant through the end of the year. There have been reports of friction between Damschroder and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat.
Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner wants Cuyahoga County to switch from electronic touch screen voting to an optical scanning system that uses paper ballots. Elections officials in other counties wonder if they too will be required to make the change.
The race for the 15th Congressional District between incumbent Republican Deborah Pryce and Democratic challenger Mary Jo Kilroy remains too close to call. The winner probably won’t be known until later this month.
With absentee ballots pouring in some county elections boards are pleading for approval to start counting ballots before Election Day. But state officials said Wednesday that Ohio law has no provision to allow the early counting of votes. Here in Franklin County, board of elections officials say they are surprised at the large number of people taking advantage of the new, early voting law. They now predict that one-third of all ballots counted on November 7th will be cast before election day.
Elections officials in Franklin County say at least 20% of poll workers on Election Day will be teenagers, 17 and 18 years of age. Some may be too young to vote, but if they complete the required training they will be certified as elections workers under a bill signed into law in January.
Central Ohio Peace activists held a protest this morning on the steps of the Franklin County Board of Elections. Speakers called for the impeachment or President Bush because of the war in Iraq. Others protested what they called ‘Faith Based Machines’ – criticizing Ohio’s new electronic voting machines.
Franklin and other counties’ election boards have been working overtime to validate the signatures on ballot initiative petitions. Employees in other Franklin County departments have pitched in to help the board review some half-million signatures this year. State law requires that the signatures on statewide petitions be verified at the county level.
Early voting in Franklin County’s May 2nd primary was beset with glitches.
Franklin County voters will use new electronic voting machines in next month’s primary election. In an effort to help them better prepare to cast ballots electronically, elections board director Matt Damschroder held a demonstration in downtown Columbus. He also tried to dispel any suggestion that the machines might tally results incorrectly.