Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Brunner Gets it Right

Reversing an earlier decision, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner will now give county election officials information on registered voters whose registration information did not match MVR or SSN records.
Brunner also said counties will have access within a week to a list of new
voters whose registration information does not match records with the state
Bureau of Motor Vehicles or Social Security Administration. But what
elections officials are supposed to do with that list remains a mystery.

This is the information I submitted an open records request for and stated should be easy to provide.

Brunner said in her directive: "To reinforce our preparations for a
successful election that ensures voter confidence, I hereby direct boards of
elections to swiftly and fully investigate all specific allegations or evidence
of voter registration fraud, illegal voting or voter suppression in their
respective jurisdictions."

But during a press conference today, she said reports of widespread voter
fraud are overblown.

"I don't believe there is an effort underway to steal the election," Brunner
said. "Ohio's bipartisan election officials have a duty to investigate
specific allegations of wrongdoing, protecting the rights of eligible voters in
the process. Republicans and Democrats both want fair elections, and our
preparation in Ohio is already showing results with successful absentee

I generally agree with her. It is a very good idea to provide this information to the county election boards and there was no reason not to. From an overall percentage perspective, the number of irregularities in the Ohio registered voters list is pretty small and the bipartisan county election officials are working together to investigate. For example in Cleveland, a very highly Democratic area of the state, the county election officials took it upon themselves to investigate ACORN instead of trying to hide or defend the group.

Ohio's election officials have not been as partisan as the Florida officials appears in the Bush/Gore election.

While I agree with Brunner that I don't believe there is a widespread coordinated effort to steal the election in Ohio, I do think it's important to open up the information so everyone can see that is the case.

It appears Brunner has taken a step in that direction.