This was in the mailbag yesterday, but I’m still swamped at the job that actually pays the bills…

Jennifer Brunner, Democratic candidate for Ohio Secretary of State, today stressed the need for a Secretary of State who provides uniform poll worker training to the state?s boards of elections to strengthen the quality of Ohio?s election process and voters? trust in the process. Brunner?s statement comes in response to the Cleveland Plain Dealer article, ?How do you do a recount without a printout?? dated, Monday ? September 11, 2006.

The rest after the jump…

In the article, author Joan Mazzolini cites problems that occurred in the May primary election in Cuyahoga County. Missing paper trail results put the final tally of at least one recount in doubt when election board workers were instructed by the Secretary of State?s office to re-create a ?paper trail? from electronic memory cards. The law specifies that the paper ballot is the official record of votes cast.

?Boards of elections were left to fend for themselves in training poll workers on new voting technology last year and this year. The Secretary of State?s office is now telling the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections to circumvent the law in recounting votes because inadequate poll worker training resulted in failed procedures, leaving paper ballots missing.?

The Voter Verified Paper Audit Trial (VVPAT) allows the voter to check the paper receipt that can be viewed in the machine to verify that the votes recorded are actually what the voter voted. Without the paper trail that presumably has been checked by the voter, there is no official ballot to count in a recount.

?There are clear and straightforward solutions to these problems,? said Brunner. ?As Secretary of State I will develop uniform poll worker training materials, videos and curriculum, tailored to each type of machine used in Ohio and provide it to Ohio?s 88 county boards of elections. It?s time for a Secretary of State who will take responsibility for ensuring that Ohio?s elections are safe, reliable and trustworthy. Local election officials should not have to endure this type of scrutiny when it comes to verifying election results and poll workers will not be used as political scapegoats,? added Brunner.

Jennifer Brunner, a former Franklin County Common Please Court Judge, has been advocating innovative methods of poll worker training and recruitment from the beginning of her campaign to be Ohio?s top election official more than a year ago. These innovative techniques include:

  • Implement uniform poll worker training for all 88 county Boards of Elections so that all poll workers have clear direction,
  • Schedule poll worker training in close proximity to Election Day enabling workers to clearly understand and remember their roles and responsibilities,
  • Include technical training for all types of voting machine operations,
  • Research and implement split-shifts for poll workers, eliminating a 14 hour shift to eight hours,
  • Recruit poll workers of all ages – documented research from groups such as Kids Voting indicates that young poll workers are more likely to become lifelong voters and have an impact on the people around them to vote as well,
  • Explore the opportunities to recruit poll workers in a similar method as we recruit citizens for jury duty, allowing them the same excuses to opt-out, this will greatly increase the number of required poll workers.

Jennifer Brunner, a former Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge, is uniquely qualified and credentialed to become Ohio?s next Secretary of State. With her service as Legislative Counsel for the Secretary of State?s Office, 13 years of election law private practice experience; including serving as a special prosecutor for election fraud, and making tough decisions as a Judge, she has clearly demonstrated her ability and desire to be Ohio?s top elections official.

Blackwell’s claims that the 2004 election went swimmingly are ridiculous. Brunner has a real plan on how to make things better.

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