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?