To the editor:
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted issued a directive establishing uniform standards for voting in the state. There has been misrepresentation about this directive. Here are the facts.
On Aug. 15, Husted issued a directive to local boards of election to have uniform days and hours for in-person voting during the early voting period. These hours are as follows: Oct. 2-19 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Oct. 22-Nov. 2 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Oct. 9 (final day for Ohioans to register to vote in November's general election) from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
It will continue to be easy to vote in Ohio. There will be more than 750 hours to cast a ballot from home and 230 hours to cast it in person, not to mention the normal hours on Election Day.
Before Husted's directive, counties were setting their own voting hours, which resulted in confusion and giving certain voters greater access to the ballot based solely on where they live. That was not fair. The Cleveland Plain Dealer and other newspapers in Ohio have applauded this responsible move to have fair access to voting for all Ohioans.
Two members of the Montgomery County Board of Elections, Tom Ritchie and Dennis Lieberman, moved to expand their county's voting hours into the weekends in violation of Husted's directive. Husted began the process to remove these board members from office. A hearing was held on this matter and a decision is expected soon.
The members of Ritchie and Lieberman's political party are spreading rumors that these members may be removed as retaliation for their political affiliation. This is not true. These men broke the law by ignoring a direct order from the secretary of state and Husted acted appropriately. These men are free to disagree with Husted, but they are not free to break the law.
Here are the facts about early voting in Ohio: All Ohioans will receive an absentee ballot application by mail prior to early voting. In prior elections this practice was reserved for only large urban counties, which was unfair to many Ohioans.
Husted introduced a Website, www.MyOhioVote.org, which allows Ohioans to change their voting address online and avoid potential confusion at the ballot box.
Ohio now has uniform voting hours across the state.
The bottom line is that the practices that were conducted by the previous administration have been exposed for the confusion, chaos and separate voting practices that occurred.
This is an important election for Ohio and our country. The practices instituted by Husted will ensure that this election is fair for all Ohioans.