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Ohio Technology Resources To Improve Voter Access

Secretary Brunner Introduces Resources for Voter Access

9/30/2008

For Immediate Release:

Secretary Brunner Introduces Technology Resources For Voter Access

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner today introduced a number of technology initiatives geared to provide greater access & information to Ohio voters.

Voter Convenience – Avoid The Line

“Avoid The Line” is an initiative of Brunner’s office designed to provide a convenient, efficient method for voters to complete a voter registration form, request an absentee ballot application and remind voters of important deadlines for the Nov. 4 election.

“There are a lot of things that people could be doing on November 4, 2008. Many will head out to the polls, continuing a rich tradition for many Ohio voters, but standing in line does not have to be a part of the equation,” said Secretary Brunner.

Taking advantage of the early voting option is on the minds of many people in 2008. County boards of elections across the state are promoting Ohio’s no-fault absentee voting option. In the March 2008 Primary Election, Ohio voters set a record with over 500,000 voters selecting it as their option to have their voices heard and votes counted.

“Avoid The Line” (ATL) is a Web resource hosted by Secretary Brunner on the secretary of state Web site. It provides access to all eligible Ohio voters to complete a voter registration form online and print it, complete an absentee ballot request form and print it to send to their local board of elections, spread the word about this resource and obtain valuable voter information.

How it works - features and benefits;

• Provides important deadlines for Ohio voters
• Provides a voter registration form which voters can complete, print and mail to their local board of elections
• Provides an absentee ballot request form that voters can complete, print and mail to their local board of elections
• Allows a voter to spread the word about the site, increasing access to democracy for all.

You can access Avoid The Line here: http://www.avoidtheline.org/

Voter Access - The Voting Information Project and Google’s Voter Info Map

A record number of Americans are going online to find where to vote and register. Google and the Pew Charitable Trusts are working with election officials across the country to give voters easy access to official voting information online. Ohio is the first state in the nation to provide comprehensive access to the information needed to accomplish this goal and better serve all Ohio voters.

"Every voter deserves easy access to election information online," said Bob Boorstin, Google's Policy Communications Director. "Secretary Brunner is leading the charge to give voters essential information at their fingertips."

How it works – features and benefits:

When voters search for “where to vote” or “where to register” on Google, they find all the information they need in one place, including: registration deadlines, early voting information, and polling places.

You can access Google’s Voter Info site here: http://www.maps.google.com/vote

Voter Education - Ohio Online Judicial Voter Guide

Launched on Tuesday, September 30, 2008, the online Ohio Judicial Voter Guide enables voters to educate themselves about judicial candidates in Ohio running for the Ohio Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Court of Common Pleas.

“When voters begin considering their choices when voting there is one slate of candidates that often remain a mystery – those running for the judiciary,” said Secretary Brunner.

“Due to the rules for judicial candidates, campaigning can be difficult. Many voters have no idea who these candidates are, what judicial seats they may occupy and what principles are guiding their desire to be a judge,” said Secretary Brunner. “It is our hope that this resource will enable voters to thoroughly research these candidates who ultimately play a vital role in their community,” said Secretary Brunner.

How it works
The Ohio Judicial Voter Guide offers voters the ability to search for candidates in three ways; by name, by county, by judicial race or by any combination of the three. Voters will be able to view each candidate’s submitted personal statement, education information and employment history.
You can access the Ohio Judicial Voter Guide at the home page www.sos.state.oh.us

The Ohio Judicial Voter Guide is a collaborative effort intended to educate and inform voters on the candidates for judicial seats across the state. Special thanks go to the following groups and individuals for their input to the Ohio Judicial Voter Guide.
Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer and the Supreme Court of Ohio
State Senator Tim Grendell
Ohio State Bar Association
Columbus Bar Association
Ohio Judicial Conference
Ohio League of Women Voters
Ohio Prosecuting Attorney's Association
Ohio Association of Probate Judges
Ohio Association for Justice
Ohio House of Representatives Minority Caucus
Fayette County Probate Court

“As we prepare for a November 4, 2008, election where every eligible voter who wants to vote should be able to do so freely and with convenience, it is important that we embrace technology and I am proud to offer these alternatives to Ohio voters,” Secretary Brunner said.

ENDS

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