Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted issued a new, mind boggling directive on Thursday that adds even more confusion and potential slow-down to the process of handling absentee ballots.

According to newly-issued Directive 2012-48, Boards of Election wishing to notify a voter of mistakes on his/her absentee ballot can only do so “in writing by first class mail”.  “Notification may not be made via telephone, email, facsimile” or any other means.

This is a stark change from the policy under SOS Jennifer Brunner, who issued a directive in 2008 advising boards to “simultaneously use both email and first class mail” and which allowed telephone communication when other means were “impracticable or impossible”

The very first question on an absentee ballot request form is for Phone Number, which the form says is “Recommended”. And the online request form asks for both phone number and emails address.  If they aren’t allowed to use the information to help speed up the process and help quickly notify voters of mistakes on their ballots, then why bother asking for it?


  • Spitfiremk1

    Is it just me or does anyone else see a pattern here? This really seems like déjà vu to me (Blackwell’s “paper weight” registration forms, etc.). Is this “Groundhog Day”?

  • I’m sure Blackwell passed on a lot of info on how to muck up the elections to Husted

  • NoVestedInterest

    Someone – please- file a lawsuit.
    Make him defend his directive, in light of phone number and email availability,and the time constraints a voter has before election day.

  • NoVestedInterest

    Perhaps Jennifer Brunner should be the one to challenge Sec. Husted on his directive – she knows more about the subject than any other Ohioan.
    Additionally, notify Rachel Madow of this latest Husted stinkbomb. She featured Husted’s latest hi-jinks on her shjow this evening.

  • missskeptic

    The reason they ask for phone numbers is to build a database.

  • DMoore

    Endless republican tricks and traps. You gotta give them this. They are relentless in their quest to surpress the vote. Keep digging boys.

  • While “notification” must be via 1st Class Mail I’m wondering if boards could do an “informational” email or phone call, say, as “community outreach.”

  • If you recall, the stringent enforcement of throwing out “right church wrong pew” provisional ballots came from Blackwell. In the pre-Blackwell past, boards used their authority under Ohio law to re-make ballots, counting only the races appropriate for the voter’s correct precinct. While Judge Marbley threw out that strict interpretation, the matter is currently with Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

  • pb_dirtgirl

    So much for Husted’s stated intent of not making rules that add undue expense to County Boards. Now they have to pay a lot of postage, needlessly.

  • falcons12345

    Id call Greenville and see what is going on. Better yet, have the DDN make the call.

  • SlapFat

    Husted is the jock that never should have left the sports world. He’s also probably the least competent elected official to hold office in Ohio right now. And I understand very well who I have to compare him to.

  • tarfam

    First we have to actually GET our ballots! I mailed my request for a ballot four weeks ago (took it to the Post Office the day after I got it) and STILL have not received it! If they even get it to me on time, I wonder if they are going to count it. Seriously, someone needs to follow up on this.

  • Brett_Bellmore

    Yes, there’s a pattern: He seems to be more concerned about fraud than maximizing the absolute number of ballots cast. Why limit the ways somebody can request an absentee ballot?

    How about, because somebody ELSE might request the ballot?

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