A three day statewide conference of boards of elections members and workers concludes today in Columbus, just as state lawmakers prepare to come back to the capital for their first full week of work in this new General Assembly.
Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has his own list of priorities for lawmakers, such as online voter registration, online requests for absentee ballots, uniform hours of operation for board of elections offices and new rules for provisional ballots.
“For reasonable people, there is nothing controversial here,” says Husted.
But there’s a debate among elections officials about each county following the same schedule. And some officials, including Democratic Summit County Board of Elections deputy director Kimberly Zurz, are concerned that lawmakers will introduce voter photo ID or other bills that have generated angry reactions.
“We can spend all of our time and spend all of our wheels on something like that, or we can really try to fix the things that are out there that we know would really help the system,” says Zurz.
Husted and elections officials do agree that something needs to be done to replace aging voting machines before the statewide elections in 2014.