Thursday, November 02, 2006

Judge White Denies Election Directives to County Boards of Elections

Columbus -- Judge Angela P. White of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas ended her 7 week hiatus and issued an order that denied the efforts of the Ohio Democratic Party to force Blackwell to do his job and issue critical election directives. Her action leaves all 88 county boards of elections with no standards for three critical areas of election administration.

“I am disappointed that it took so long for Judge White to issue her order on this case. When we filed the case, we urged her to expedite the handling of the matter and apparently a two month delay is her idea of expedition. Her procrastination leaves us with no hope to achieve any relief before the election,” said Chris Redfern, Chair of the Ohio Democratic Party.

“It is disgraceful that Judge White has sat on these important issues for so long. If she can’t rule on this crucial case in a timely manner, what makes voters in Franklin County believe that she is fit to stand for election as judge this year?”

The lawsuit, filed on September 6, asked the court to order Secretary of State Blackwell to issue directives to county boards of elections to:

-- Set a consistent policy on election machine security, before, during and after Election Day;
-- Issue directives and protocols on the handling of voting machines when they break down; and
-- Issue directives on how to handle long lines at polling locations

“To help eliminate confusion and avoid long lines, voters should take advantage of early voting at their county Board of Elections. Their votes will count just the same as if they vote on Election Day,” said Redfern.

Redfern noted that it is particularly important for voters to cast their ballots for Jennifer Brunner for Secretary of State. “Brunner’s election will ensure that Ohio’s boards of elections will have the kind of control and direction they need to guarantee that voting is done fairly, freely and accurately.”

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