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Ohio Secretary Expands Back-Up Paper Ballots

Ohio Secretary of State
For Immediate Release
September 23, 2008

Secretary Brunner Offers Expanded Waivers For Polling Place Layout

Columbus, Ohio – Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner announced Monday an expansion of the waivers available for Directive 2008-65, “Precinct Polling Location Arrangement and Diagram for Counties Using DREs.” The directive provides voters with a secondary back-up paper ballot line in touch-screen voting counties.

While state law permits voting precincts to be assigned up to 1400 voters, many rural areas are sparsely populated, with precincts much smaller in numbers of registered voters to alleviate voters having to drive long distances to vote.

“We held discussions with local election officials and with our regional staff to understand the unique needs in more rural and smaller, one-precinct polling locations. From these discussions we believe there are additional options for boards that can otherwise meet our goal of shortening voting lines,” said Secretary Brunner.

The additional waiver issued by the Secretary of State will help voters and poll workers in small, single precinct voting locations, while protecting overall preparations to minimize long lines that can be anticipated in multiple precinct polling places, especially in the larger, more urban areas of the state. Under the new waivers, any single precinct polling location with 700 or fewer registered voters may apply for a waiver. Once accepted, the polling place will still have back-up paper ballots for voters should long lines form or an emergency take place.


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