Posted: December 3, 2008
Ohio Election Summit starts to evaluate the 2008 election
Several of us from the Election Law @ Moritz team attended the Ohio Election Summit yesterday hosted by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. EL@M Director, Edward B. Foley, was a panelist for the segment on provisional voting and voter ID and Assistant Director, Daniel Tokaji, spoke on early and absentee voting. The other panels focused on various topics such as election administration and voting security. The Summit brought together local and state election administrators, poll workers, county commissioners, journalists, academics, election and voter advocates, bloggers and members of the public. Having a conference with such a diverse group of attendees brought to light a lot of the concerns of these groups and showed where the tensions among them lie. For example, while advocates push for changes in areas such as voter ID and voting machines, local officials have the burden of having to train poll workers on these changes and county commissioners have to find funding within tight budgets. Many panelists emphasized the need to be cautious and deliberative in making changes to Ohio election laws as the code is very complex and seemingly minor changes could have unforeseen consequences to administrators and voters. EAC Commissioner Gracia Hillman attended and praised Secretary Brunner for “striking while the iron is hot” in having the summit within a month of the closely-watched election. See the Columbus Dispatch coverage here.