Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities

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Equal Vote
Thursday, December 18
The Wrong Approach to Election Reform
The Ohio legislature yesterday approved a bill (SB 380) that would eliminate the window for early registration and absentee voting, among other things. Here's a snippet from my testimony in opposition to the bill last week, which draws upon the "Moneyball Approach to Election Reform" that I've advocated in the past:
In considering election reform proposals, it is vital that legislative bodies take a careful, studied, and deliberative approach, one that collects and considers all the relevant evidence and data from this state and other states on how existing election administration works and what if anything is likely to improve it. That has not been done in this case. What we have learned over the past eight years is that the worst way to do election reform is to rush through a bill with a party-line vote, without taking the time to collect data on existing practices and proposed reforms. Yet that, unfortunately, is precisely the faulty process that is being followed here. For this reason, I urge that the bill be rejected in its entirety.
The bill now heads to the Governor.

(Disclosures: I was an attorney for plaintiffs and amici in litigation seeking to preserve the window for simultaneous registration and absentee voting. My wife works in the Governor's office, though not on election matters.)

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Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University