COLUMBUS, Ohio– Ohio Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) and State Senator Frank LaRose (R-Copley) announced a partnership with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to provide a substantial investment in new technology to modernize Ohio’s elections process.
The Senate version of the state’s two-year operating budget contains $12.75 million for the Ohio Department of Administrative Services to purchase electronic pollbooks for all 88 counties. The plan calls for the state to provide 85 percent of the equipment cost, while counties would fund the remaining 15 percent. Counties are not required to participate in the program.
“E-pollbooks have proven to be a valuable tool for the 19 counties that currently use them, benefiting both poll workers and voters by streamlining the check-in process on Election Day. It cuts wait times and makes voting even easier,” said Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. “Ohio has one of the best elections systems in the nation, due in part to the ongoing effort to improve and innovate how we run elections. Today’s announcement by Senate President Faber and his team means a better experience on Election Day for everyone involved once passed.”
Electronic pollbooks allow county election workers to access voter information through a digital database, eliminating an antiquated paper process, improving the voter check-in process and allowing poll workers to easily redirect voters in the wrong location to the correct polling place. In addition to the technology enhancements, the Senate budget also includes funds to send absentee ballot requests to all registered voters in advance of the 2016 general election. Ohio is one of only two states in the nation to provide such statewide funding.
“We’ve made our election system a model of accessibility, fairness and integrity,” said Faber. “We have one of the longest voting periods of any state in the nation, and this investment builds on years of effort to make that process more efficient and accountable. I commend Secretary Husted for his leadership on these initiatives, as well as for his continued effort to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat in Ohio.”