Ohio Voter Rights Coalition Blog; The Ohio Voter Rights Coalition: The Ohio Senate's Budget Includes Funding for E-Poll Books and Statewide Mailing of Absentee Ballot Applications

The Ohio Senate's Budget Includes Funding for E-Poll Books and Statewide Mailing of Absentee Ballot Applications

The Ohio Senate is on its way to approving funding for electronic poll books and a statewide mailing of absentee ballot applications to every registered voter in 2016.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 8, 2015

Statement from Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted

COLUMBUS Regarding the Ohio Senate Leadership’s announcement today that funding for electronic pollbooks (e-pollbooks) and the statewide mailing of absentee ballot applications has been included in their version of the state budget, all of the following may be attributed to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted:

“I want to commend Senate President Keith Faber and his leadership team for their ongoing commitment to reinforcing our system of elections by providing funding for important technology and services that will continue to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat in Ohio.

“E-pollbooks have proven to be a valuable tool for the 19 counties that currently use them, benefiting both poll workers and voters by streamlining the check-in process on Election Day. It cuts wait times and makes voting even easier.

“The inclusion of funding for the statewide mailing of absentee ballot applications not only ensures uniformity and that all voters are treated equally and fairly, but it also greatly reduces the chance of long lines on Election Day.

“Ohio has one of the best elections systems in the nation, due in part to the ongoing effort to improve and innovate how we run elections. Today’s announcement by Senate President Faber and his team means a better experience on Election Day for everyone involved once passed.”

Additional Information

E-pollbooks

E-pollbooks eliminate the need for poll workers to flip through bulky printed pollbooks to locate a voter. Instead, when a voter arrives at a polling location to cast a ballot, e-pollbooks allow elections officials to quickly and accurately pull up the voter’s information by either entering their name or by simply scanning an identification card, like a driver’s license. Counties already using e-pollbooks (map available here) have reported a decrease in the amount of time it takes for a voter to check in at a polling location. For example, elections officials in Montgomery County have indicated that prior to using e-pollbooks, the average check-in time for voters was 2-3 minutes. Using e-pollbooks, the county was able to cut the wait time by 80 percent to an average of 30 seconds during the 2012 Presidential Election.

Statewide Mailing of Absentee Ballot Applications

The 2016 General Election will mark the third time the Secretary of State’s Office – all under Secretary Husted’s leadership – has sent out absentee ballot applications. The first two mailings took place during the 2012 and 2014 General Elections. The mailing of absentee ballot applications statewide has helped to avoid long lines at the polls on Election Day. In fact, during the 2012 General Election one out of every three voters cast an absentee ballot – a state record – and national studies reported average wait times of approximately 11 minutes. 

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For more information, please contact Joshua Eck at (614) 466-2729.



For more information on e-pollbooks...

Senators join to provide new elections technology The Daily Advocate (06/09/15)

Electronic pollbooks a possible solution to long lines on Election Day The Columbus Dispatch (06/09/15)

For more information on the budget...

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