Archived Story

Lawmakers can help make elections run smooth

Published 9:17am Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Four or five months ago, Secretary of State Jon Husted probably would have been grateful for people to forget about Ohio elections for a while. Now, however, he needs the attention of state and federal lawmakers.

When in-state and out-of-state partisans are done besieging this swing state during presidential-election years — trumping up charges of widespread voter fraud or voter suppression to rally their troops across the country — it seems they forget all about the importance of smooth, valid elections in Ohio.

But Husted’s job remains the same: ensuring that every election is well run. The General Assembly should do its part to help, by enacting the common-sense reforms for which Husted has asked, starting with allowing online voter registration and establishing uniform days and hours for voting. …

Husted also has a reasonable request for federal officials: If you’re going to be involved in states’ running of elections, could you help pay for the equipment you mandate, and give states direction where federal law conflicts? …

Through a storm of partisan interference, Husted has kept a steady focus on running fair and efficient elections in Ohio. State and federal lawmakers should give him some help.

The Columbus Dispatch


Citizens deserve to know what government is doing

… This is Sunshine Week, an observance created to promote the importance of open government and freedom of information. Sunshine laws tend to make the news only for controversial reasons, such as the media outlets pressing for access to records from the Sandy Hook massacre or political candidates who use public-records requests to harass opponents. …

But the controversial cases are the exceptions. At their heart, Sunshine laws protect our right to know what our government is discussing, deciding and doing. And every time lawmakers chip away at open-records laws — as they have done by adding dozens of exceptions to the Ohio Public Records Act — it is the public’s rights they are eroding. …

As budgets have tightened in recent years, there’s been a lot of talk about making government more like a business.

Increasing competition and promoting accountability can be worthy goals, but we must remember that in the end, government is not just a business. …

The government — from the presidency to the village council — belongs to us, and we have every right to know what they do in our name.

The Cincinnati Enquirer

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