"E-Vote: Ohio Supreme Court Refuses to Interfere with Secretary of State's Directive for Paper Ballots"--Gov Tech Ed's occasional clipping service

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Wed Mar 12 2008 - 21:35:58 CDT

E-Vote: Ohio Supreme Court Refuses to Interfere with Secretary of State's
Directive for Paper Ballots

Mar 10, 2008, News Report

Last week, the Supreme Court of Ohio unanimously denied the Union County
Commissioners' request for an order that would have prevented Secretary of
State Jennifer Brunner from implementing a recent directive she issued to
require county boards of elections using touch screen machines to have
backup paper ballots available for voters who want them.

In response to vulnerabilities brought to light late last year through
Ohio's top-to-bottom voting machine review, Project
port.pdf> EVEREST (Evaluation and Validation of Election Related Equipment,
Standards and Testing), the secretary of state's directive (2008-01) ordered
all boards of elections using electronic touch-screen voting machines to
provide as an alternative an optical scan paper ballot to any voter who
requests it.

Brunner ordered that ballots be printed in number equal to at least 10
percent of the number of voters who voted in a previous, similar election.
All other boards complied with the directive, with a number of them printing
up to 40 percent, but the Union County Board of Elections split on the
question of whether the follow the secretary's directive (which boards are
required by law to follow according to Brunner's Office), and eventually the
county commissioners took Brunner to court in two separate actions over the
matter. Union County had objected to complying with the directive, stating
the cost to be $86,000 but has now complied -- said Brunner's Office -- at a
reported actual cost of $13,000.

The county commissioners had previously filed a lower court lawsuit that was
dismissed two weeks ago. Union County Board of Elections member Robert
Parrott joined the commissioners' subsequent Ohio Supreme Court action.

"Given the nature of the limitations and vulnerabilities with touch-screen
voting equipment identified in the EVEREST Report, many voters would prefer
the security and simplicity of a paper ballot," Brunner said. "The court's
decision allows Tuesday's election to move forward as planned, giving voters
the opportunity to choose a paper ballot and election officials the security
of having backup paper ballots in the event of long lines or voting machine
failure." Brunner added.





Edmund R. Kennedy, PE

10777 Bendigo Cove

San Diego, CA 92126


Work for the common good.
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Received on Mon Mar 31 23:17:02 2008

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