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.
Almost 1.9 million Ohioans voted with an absentee ballot in last year's election - a record number for the perennial presidential battleground state.
Secretary of State Jon Husted released reports Wednesday showing that roughly 33 percent of the more than 5.6 million votes cast in the November election were from absentee ballots. The early ballots accounted for about 30 percent of the overall votes cast in 2008.
Voters in Ohio can cast an absentee ballot early by mail or in person without giving any reason.
Ohio's elections chief has squelched rumors he might be preparing to challenge Gov. John Kasich in a Republican primary two years from now.
Secretary of State Jon Husted told reporters Thursday that if he runs for anything in 2014 it would be for re-election to his current job, where he oversees business filings and elections in the battleground state.
The 45-year-old Husted has served as state senator and speaker of the Ohio House. He's widely mentioned as an eventual contender for the governorship.
Two ex-county elections officials fired by Ohio's Republican secretary of state have dropped their lawsuit against him after claiming they were unjustly terminated.
Democrats Dennis Lieberman and Thomas Ritchie Sr. filed a voluntary dismissal of their case Friday. they were previously on the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
The decision comes after a federal judge last month denied their request to be reinstated to the board. The judge ruled that among other issues, the ex-officials failed to identify that a fundamental right had been violated by their removal.
Ohio's elections chief says a federal judge's demand to come up with a new order regarding provisional ballots is even worse than a previous court demand.
Lawyers for Secretary of State Jon Husted have complained to a federal appeals court that the judge changed rules for provisional ballots after the election but before the ballots are counted beginning this weekend.
Husted's office asked the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday to reverse the decision by federal judge Algenon Marbley.