Dems Call For Removal Of "Long Lines Line Item" From Budget
Last minute budget provision is more GOP voter suppression, and it must go
June 25, 2013
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COLUMBUS – State Senator Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) and State Representative Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) today called for the removal of a last minute GOP budget provision that eliminates the requirement that counties have a minimum number of voting machines available for voters. 

 “The long lines line item stuck into the budget is more voter suppression from the Ohio GOP,” said Rep. Clyde. “The conference committee must remove this harmful provision, and if they refuse to do so, the governor must veto it.”

 Current state law requires one touchscreen voting machine for every 175 voters. The budget would completely eliminate the minimum requirements---meaning counties could have as few as one voting machine per precinct. This will create long lines and could be a major problem for voters in counties using electronic voting machines, including Franklin, Lucas, Montgomery, Stark, and Portage.

 “After the 2004 election, we saw that one of the main causes for long lines at the polls was an inadequate number of voting machines,” said Sen. Turner.  “This requirement is an important safeguard to ensure that voters don’t have to stand in line for hours to cast their ballot. The provision must go.”

 The long lines line item is problematic because not enough voting machines could mean long lines that could cause tens of thousands of voters to leave the polls without voting. Studies1 show that scarcity of voting equipment has caused long lines in Ohio and deterred people from voting. These problems varied significantly by race and type of voting machine. 

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