The December 31 meeting of the Franklin County Board of Elections was conducted in record speed considering one of the most important issues of the year was on the agenda ... Implementation of One Stop Voting for 2016.
The new board member was given no time to review the plan with a vote being called within two minutes of handing said plan to him.
There was no discussion of the plan or possible alternatives other than it was the same plan as the 2014 election.
If the board had taken the matter "to heart" as according to Chairman Breggar, then it must have been done outside the meeting for it definitely was not discussed during the meeting. The previous voting statistics should have been reviewed. Among them:
•Both the 2008 and 2012 Presidential Elections resulted in over 70 percent voter turnout in Franklin County and the 2014 Election was an off year with 49% turnout. Therefore, it can be well assumed that the Presidential Election in 2016 may be + 70 percent.
•The Early Voting time was reduced by five days in 2014.
•Due to the Republican Legislature eliminating straight ticket voting, one can also assume individual voting for many will take longer; therefore, Franklin County voters can expect longer lines and longer waits when they go to the polls in November.
•The majority of Franklin County voters work outside the county and have long commutes. With weekday hours 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the early voting sites it becomes impossible for them to both work and vote on the same day, leaving only a single one-half day of weekend voting on one Saturday.
Careful consideration should be made before implementing a plan that probably will be insufficient to accommodate the expected turnout. Discussing these facts and considering the recommendation of the staff would have been desirable.
The reasoning of the Republican majority on this board is transparent. They don't want to hear the facts and want to limit One Stop Voting to the bare minimum.
According to the Franklin County Board of Elections website, "Our (BOE) goal is to work for the people of Franklin County in providing you with an equal and fair opportunity to elect your representatives in government."
The Franklin County Board of Elections should remember this goal and strive to fairly accommodate all Franklin County voters by either extending the weekday closing to 7:30 or adding an additional Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Democratic Party Chair