Saturday, January 26, 2008

So Goes Ohio

There is quite an effort to challenge the distribution and use of what is at best unequal, inaccurate and inadequate voting technology... Thus several groups, especially the ACLU in Ohio have pursued an effort to stop the implementation of tech that is just plain screwed up.

From the ACLU:

The ACLU of Ohio has sued the Secretary of State and Cuyahoga County to block the switch to a new voting system in time for the March 4 presidential primary. We have taken this step because the system to be put in place violates voters’ constitutional rights by not allowing them to check their ballots for errors, leading to higher numbers of rejected ballots.

With more than one million registered voters, Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, plans to send paper ballots filled out by voters to a central location to be scanned and counted. Voters will not be able to scan the ballots at the polling place. That system does not give voters notice of ballot errors and an opportunity to correct mistakes.

In the 2000 presidential election, over 94,000 Ohioans had their central count paper and punchcard ballots rejected statewide. The ACLU of Ohio went to court, representing a group of Ohio voters in the case of Stewart v. Blackwell. The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded that voting with paper and punchcard ballots, with no mechanism for checking mistakes, violated the equal protection rights of Ohio voters.

The ACLU has no preference for the type of technology used — paper or touch-screens — so long as voters are able to check for mistakes while at the polling place.

We will see if fair and effective procedures and technology are used.  Oh yes, we will see.

No comments: