Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Saturday, March 18

DCC Candidates Forum: Jennifer Brunner


Brunner says that she gave up a judgeship to run for Secretary of State. The reason she is running is to change the way that Ken Blackwell runs elections, and to make elections free, fair and open. She attacks Blackwell for using his office to campaign for Issue 1 and for Bush. Blackwell started doing this in 2003 with a proposed issue to roll back sales taxes, and nobody called him on it. Now he is doing it big-time. As a judge, Brunner knows how to run a fair process.

Blackwell had to be ordered by a court to accept provisional ballots from people who didn't receive absentee ballots in time, then later fought to keep provisional ballots from being counted. Brunner indicates that Blackwell had to do that in order to make sure that Bush won.

Brunner brings up the voter identification requirements in House Bill 3, recently passed by the Republican-controlled General Assembly. She explains the burdensome nature of the ID requirement, and the practical reality that provisional ballots (to be cast when ID is not shown or is unacceptable) aren't likely to be counted. The elderly, the poor, and college students are the ones most likely not to have the required ID, and showing bank statements or utility bills is not an acceptable alternative. When Republicans don't like what is happening on the political scene, they manipulate the law to change things. Brunner refers to a pending lawsuit to invalidate at least portions of HB 3, but if that does not succeed then activists will be needed to educate the public as much as possible about the new voting requirements.

Brunner recognizes that the key issues for voters are (1) did I have to wait in line? (2) did my vote count? and (3) did I get my sticker?

Questions: As to voting machines, Brunner explains system for validating and counting provisional votes, which is totally bogus: officials can peek at how votes were cast before deciding whether to count them. Brunner is working on a measure to prevent vote counts from going over the internet (grim laughter in crowd). Brunner will be working with voting machine companies and voting experts to make sure that the voting system is reliable.

Brunner supports requiring the Secretary of State to be non-partisan, but RON Issue 5 (which would have replaced the Secretary of State with a non-partisan statewide board to oversee elections) caused her concern because she thought it would slow down the process. Part of how Republicans gain an advantage in elections is by causing chaos, then bringing in their teams of lawyers and activists to manipulate the situation. She understands this and as Secretary of State will work to make the situation orderly and fair.

5 Comments:

At 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though she did a good job of focusing on helping people to vote and not impeding them. She expresses concerns a lot of people have really well and doesn't come across as partisan. I really like that she promised we would never get any robocalls from her campaigning for issues!

 
At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That should be "thought" not "though". It sounds like i'm going to criticize something and I'm not, not until I get to the Sherrod Brown part, anyway.

 
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At 4:56 AM, Anonymous anazeem said...

In spite of the fact that she benefited work of concentrating on peopling to vote and not hindering them. She communicates concerns many individuals have truly well and doesn't appear to be fanatic. I truly like that she guaranteed we would never get any robocalls from her battling for issues!

 

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