Leave Feedback

BLOG: Ohio's dumb election laws

Tom Jackson • Jan 12, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Ohio is a key "swing state" in every presidential election. Given our importance in national politics, why can't we clean up Ohio's dumb election laws? Here are two problems that need fixing immediately.

1). In almost every local election, a qualified candidate is kicked off the ballot because of a problem  in his nominating petition.

This time, it was Steve Schuster, a sitting members of the Perkins school board and a respected businessman who supports local charities. He left a section of the petition blank and says the person at the election board he gave it to said the petition was fine. Several years ago, when I covered Perkins Township, the name of a sitting trustee, Jerry Baumgardner, was removed from the candidate list. It forced him to wage a write-in campaign.

Other states don't play these games. Why not allow anyone to file who is legally qualified and pays the filling fee? Or at least allow candidates to fix the mistakes.

2). When a voter decides to change parties, he or she should have the option of going to the election board and making the change.

Ohio only allows changes in political affiliation during primary elections.

Yes, it's amusing that Erie County's Republican Party chairman, Alex Jones, is listed as an independent, as we reported recently as this newspaper.

But that's really a reflection on how hard it is to change parties in Ohio. Why not let him register as a Republican?

Recommended for You