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Cuyahoga County Executive FitzGerald Set To Initiate Absentee Ballot Application Mailing

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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-27-11 06:33 PM
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Cuyahoga County Executive FitzGerald Set To Initiate Absentee Ballot Application Mailing
Note: Cuyahoga County government was reorganized to "council" system instead of three commissioners last year. Ed Fitzgerald is the former mayor of Lakewood, Ohio.
County Executive Ed Fitzgerald says he will ask council on Monday to approve a measure to mail absentee voter applications to all Cuyahoga County residents, instead of just to people who specifically request one.

Weve had almost 50 percent of our votes cast in recent election by mail. So the people have already voted on this issue. And its been a money saver because what it means is that we dont have to have as many poll workers. We dont have to have as many polling places. Its cut down on confusion and chaos the day of the elections. Its been an unqualified success.

In June, Ohios General Assembly passed a bill that reduces the number of early voting days, prohibits counties from mailing absentee ballots to all residents and removes the requirement that poll workers help voters find the correct precinct. The law has yet to go into effect, and last week Secretary of State John Husted sent out a directive prohibiting Boards of Election from mailing out any absentee ballots this November unless theyre requested. He says sending absentee ballots to everyone puts poor neighborhoods at a disadvantage, because their boards of election might not be able to afford mailing them out. But FitzGerald disagrees.

Urban counties in particular are the ones who have been disenfranchised because it is a documented fact that there have been long lines at the polls where people lost their right to vote because they were waiting until 9, 10, 11 oclock at night. It happened in 2004 and it made Ohio a laughing stock. If the legislature or Secretary Husted is concerned about poor counties not having this option, they should provide funding for them to do it.

Fitzgerald, a Democrat, says he thinks the Republican Secretary of State and Republican-controlled legislature have another reason why they do not want absentee ballots being sent out.

They dont want some people to vote in counties like Cuyahoga County. Theres a partisan motivation here. Theres no reasonable public policy rational to try to stop this.
text and audio at WCPN, Cleveland Public Radio, aka "Ideastream"
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cmd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-27-11 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. Good for FitzGerald
Good for Cleveland.
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