League stands up to election reform

“The League of Women’s Voters of the Akron Area will hold a meeting this Saturday to discuss election reform. Jean Questel, board member and chair holder in the LWVAA is coordinating the event. It’s a town hall meeting where everyone gets to voice their opinion, Questel said.”

The League of Women’s Voters of the Akron Area will hold a meeting this Saturday to discuss election reform. Jean Questel, board member and chair holder in the LWVAA is coordinating the event.

It’s a town hall meeting where everyone gets to voice their opinion, Questel said. That’s what we’re looking for, people to voice their concerns.

We’re having two experts come in to be arbiters and go through the pros and cons on that.

Peg Rosenfield and Ann Henkener, LWV Ohio specialists in election law and state government, will be on hand to discuss election reform in Ohio.

Everyone is encouraged to attend, not just members of the LWVAA.

People will be asked to discuss what actions can be taken to make the changes they feel are appropriate, LWVAA President Erica Greer said. They may not agree with each other, but it will get them thinking and talking about things to get them to pursue actions.

Election reform is something the LWVAA feels very strongly about.

The elections in Ohio, at least since 2000, have been problematic, Greer said. It isn’t just if there are actual conflicts of interest and actual tampering of votes and discouraging people from voting and everything like that. If there is even the appearance of that, there is a problem of confidence there.

Ohio has some problems.

Greer also feels strongly about provisional voting.

We use provisional ballots at three times the rate of the rest of the national, Greer said. Who knows if your vote is counted?

The first year we could vote absentee without reason, there were only two companies that were allowed to print ballots, Greer said. One company had problems, and the second company messed up the ballots two or three times. I was waiting on my absentee ballot and I don’t know if I’m going to get it in time to vote, and because I turned into an absentee ballot application, I can’t go vote at the polls, and if I do, it’s provisionally and I don’t know if it will count.

A major topic of discussion at the meeting will be the Everest Report, which was produced by the Secretary of State’s office along with the board of election and independent research firms. The report gives ideas on how to improve elections.

The LWVAA has commented on the Everest Report and agree and disagree with parts of it.

We’d like to see the election process changed – in a lot of ways, Greer said. Nationally, we’d like to see the Electoral College abolished. In the state, we’d like to see the voter verified paper trail, audits of elections and same day registration with provisional ballots.

We’d like to see combined precincts and polling places so there could be a central area you could go to and vote, Questel said. A 15-day prevoting area where you could go and turn your ballot in. Better training of poll workers is important – some kind of way to standardize provisional and absentee ballots, eliminated the need for showing an ID.

The LWVAA is also concerned with levy votes.

They should send them through the mail, Greer said. Everyone would receive a ballot and there would be greater voter participation.

The LWVAA’s meeting on election reform will be this Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Quaker Square Inn Ballroom.


” #1.1361144:2496326182.jpg:20080327_voter_jh.jpg:Board member and chair holder for the LWVAA Jean Questel.:JOE HABBYSHAW / THE BUCHTELITE”