Advocates Say ‘Enough Already!’ to Election Law Changes

April 12, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carrie Davis
Phone: 614.469.1505

Advocates Say ‘Enough Already!’ to Election Law Changes
“Patchwork” changes would further add to internal inconsistencies, voter confusion

Citing voter confusion and critical timing issues, a group of voter advocates including the League of Women Voters of Ohio and Common Cause Ohio today called on the Ohio General Assembly to halt further voting legislation until 2013.

“Voters are already confused due to all the voting legislation proposed in 2011 and 2012,” said Carrie Davis, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio. “Did voter ID change? Is early voting the same as 2010? Why does early voting end the Friday before the election when HB 194 was blocked by the referendum?

“Enough already!” said Davis. “Legislating in a hurry is a bad way to do business, especially when it comes to election law. When the election code is changed in a patchwork fashion, it creates internal inconsistencies and voter confusion.”

Davis said that on average, it takes two years for voters and election workers to adapt to changes. “The prevailing wisdom is to make election policy changes in off-year elections when voter turnout is lower.

“We are open to working with legislators to take a hard look at election law and come to consensus on sensible reforms, but this is not the time,” said Davis.

“All eyes are going to be on Ohio this November,” said Sam Gresham of Common Cause Ohio. “Many newspaper editorial boards and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree that what we need is more stability and less drama in the voting process in Ohio.”

“Now is the time to prepare and educate voters on their rights—not change the rules again. Any revisions to election laws so soon before an election will create confusion that will only harm voters,” said ACLU of Ohio Associate Director Gary Daniels.

“Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates has worked closely with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, and we know first-hand how difficult it is for poll workers to respond to last minute changes in complicated election law,” said Norman Robbins of NOVA. “Right now the law is settled. Let it be.”

Groups involved in the press conference included Miami Valley Voter Protection Coalition, Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates, League of Women Voters of Ohio, Common Cause Ohio, Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, ACLU of Ohio, and the Ohio Women with Disabilities Network.
 

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Click here for "Examples of Confusion Caused by 2011-2012 Election Legislation"