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Ohio Secretary of State visits 'Town Hall Ohio'
As Ohio’s 53rd Secretary of State, Jon Husted said his job is to protect the rights of individuals and the sanctity of the state’s elections. On a recent Town Hall Ohio show, Husted touched on many election reforms, including making it easier for Ohio residents and military personnel to vote and using electronic video training to provide uniform training for poll workers. For the upcoming presidential election, his office plans to send out absentee ballot requests to every registered voter in Ohio.
“My most important role is not getting involved in as many of the issues but to ensure the sanctity of the elections because if you don’t trust the outcome of the elections, you won’t trust the people you elect,” he said.
Husted criticized the reapportionment process, calling it “dysfunctional.” He said a bipartisan effort is needed and that the apportionment board should be expanded to seven members: the governor, auditor, secretary of state and the majority and minority leaders of both the House and Senate.
“I believe that the more competitive districts we have, the more likely … that the body itself, the legislators themselves, will be more responsive to the needs of what most Ohioans and Americans care about,” he said.
Husted said having a primary in March causes headaches for his office because it is a couple of months earlier than normal and the reapportionment process is not completed yet. He said having the primary so early will cost more and make it more difficult to make sure the voting process doesn’t have any glitches.
“It makes it really hard to get the maps drawn and implemented because every voting system has to have the new parameters changed. We’ve got to reconfigure the machines statewide, and it’s really hard to do in a compressed time frame,” he said. “From an election administration standpoint, later is better.”
Photo by Seth Teter