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The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus

News

State senators discouraged from enacting election reform without input

Monday, Dec. 8, 2008

The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus contacted state Senators David Goodman, Ray Miller, and Steve Stivers today, urging them to oppose Sub. SB 380, Early Voting Requirements.

The League also contacted members of the Senate State and Local Government and Veterans Affairs Committee. Both actions were in response to an action alert issued by the League of Women Voters of Ohio last week.

The text of the correspondence, sent via e-mail because a vote is expected early this week, follows:

On behalf of the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus, our board of trustees, and our hundreds of members throughout central Ohio, I write to urge your opposition to Sub. SB 380, Early Voting Requirements.

I ask the State and Local Government and Veterans Affairs Committee to address election reform only when you can do so in a thorough and deliberative manner. Rather than rush legislation through at the end of this session, wait until next year when there is time to carefully review all election-administration areas and when there is time for thoughtful, deliberative creation of reform measures.

The legislature should craft reforms only after the merits of proposed changes are thoroughly explored and input is collected from a wide range of stakeholders. There has been no time for anyone—legislators, elections officials, election experts, good-government groups, or concerned citizens—to analyze Sub. SB 380 and assess its consequences, intended or unintended.

Election-reform stakeholders need to consider, in-depth, a wide range of election concerns—and possible solutions. Sub. SB 380 does not address key issues, such as statutory barriers to voting; the error-prone registration database; and the creation of an independent, nonpartisan election-administration authority. Ambiguities, contradictions, and inconsistencies that have given rise to innumerable and costly lawsuits, to last-minute directives from the Secretary of State, and to confusion from election to election need to be addressed.

Please table Sub. SB 380. Thank you for your consideration of this very important issue, and for your service to Ohio.