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Husted sets uniform hours for the primary election over objections
League of Women Voters says limiting hours is a mistake

Andy Chow
In The Region:

The Secretary of State addressed Ohio’s elections officials today  to make some big announcements regarding this year’s elections. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, that includes a directive to make sure all voters have the same amount of access to the polls.

LISTEN: Regulating voting hours

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Secretary of State Jon Husted wants uniform standards for early voting this spring, and has issued a directive setting the hours of operation for all 88 county boards of elections in the weeks leading up to the May primary.

Husted announced the hours while addressing the Ohio Association of Election Officials winter conference in Columbus. He says the uniform hours are in the interest of fairness.

“Our priority should be to get all voters equal access to their ballots—no matter where they live—to provide adequate time to accommodate an increasingly busy electorate and to reduce the chance of long lines on Election Day.”

Husted says he had to step in and set the hours after the Ohio General Assembly ignored his repeated calls for legislation to handle the issue. 

Voting hours:
• 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, April 1, 2014, through April 4, 2014;

• 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday, April 7, 2014, (last day of voter registration, R.C. 3501.10(B));

• 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, April 8, 2014, through April 11, 2014;

• 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, April 14, 2014, through May 2, 2014; and

• 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Saturday, May 3, 2014.

Equal or not?
The schedule is basically Monday through Friday business hours with one Saturday from 8 to Noon and one Monday with evening hours. This isn’t enough to some people, including Peg Rosenfield with the Ohio League of Women Voters.

“I think it ought to be convenient for voters. They shouldn’t have to choose. You know, I may not make it Election Day. We really do believe that everybody should vote and their vote should be counted. We really really do believe that and — don’t discourage people by making it harder.”

Husted also told the conference that he plans to send absentee ballot applications to all Ohio voters for the 2014 General Election, just as he did for November’s vote.

Listener Comments:

Nothing more than an attempt to suppress the vote. People who work for a living cannot possibly make accommodation to vote early under this schedule.

Posted by: Anonymous on January 16, 2014 6:01AM
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