From time to time, we like to invite guests to share their perspectives here in our magazine. DIANA MAIROSE is a voting rights advocate who works as an Advocacy Support Adviser for Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services.–Ed.
Ohio is often the spotlight on Election Day, and this year was no different. Hamilton County, in particular, gained much statewide attention—not because of hotly contested local races or ballot issues, but because of a glitch in new technology at the polls.
The problems were immediately noticed when people were signing in electronically to vote, where they were told they could not vote or were forced to vote provisionally. Media reported on this as it happened; people found out before they went to the polls. The ACLU of Ohio sent a letter to the Hamilton County Board of Elections urging them to address these issues immediately.
The courts extended polling location hours. However, we’ll never know how many people were left out of the election due to the chaos. There were four problems in Hamilton County that contributed to Election Day chaos:
Training is very important in becoming a poll worker. As a person with a disability, I feel we need to educate and train our next generation of leaders, those who turn 18.
I voted by using an absentee ballot. Personally, I did not have any issues on Election Day. Voters and poll workers were used to the old technology.
Training is very important in becoming a poll worker. As a person with a disability, I feel we need to educate and train our next generation of leaders, those who turn 18. We need to include people with disabilities in becoming poll workers. They understand technology by using it daily.
I hope everyone will continue to use their voice by voting.
It is my great hope that the problems seen in Hamilton County will not deter anyone from visiting their voting booth and that the local boards of elections will use this as a learning opportunity. I hope everyone will continue to use their voice by voting.
This article originally appeared on the website of the Ohio ACLU at: http://www.acluohio.org/blog-posts/ohio-is-often-the-spotlight-for-elections
Diana Mairose is a voting rights advocate who works as an Advocacy Support Adviser for Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services.