The continual change in and review of election systems have not overcome the reality that elections systems, including Ohio’s system, could not weather a close or controversial election without delay, litigation, or doubt as to the result. If such a conflict would arise, the actions taken in polling places across the state could be critical in determining a victor within the state and possibly the nation. Ohio, like many states, has responded to this circumstance with an incredibly technical and rule driven approach to election administration. This approach to elections administration is deficient for two primary reasons: (1) it refuses to accept that mistakes happen, and (2) the only mistakes that are subject to scrutiny are those that leave a sufficient paper trail that they could be subject to litigation or post-election scrutiny. This Article presents an analysis of Election Day error in Ohio's 2012 general election through a discussion of the materiality principle, compliance standards, and the Democracy Canon, and suggests that a hybrid approach to election administration is necessary for Ohio’s General Assembly and election administrators at every level to better identify those mistakes and incorporate real-time mistake remedies into Election Day procedures. Ultimately, the human factor of elections should be recognized as an opportunity for better voter understanding and participation rather than a barrier in the pursuit of a perfect Election Day.
Eric H. Kearney, Pavan V. Parikh, and Bethany E. Sanders,
Perfect is the Enemy of Fair: An Analysis of Election Day Error in Ohio's 2012 General Election Through a Discussion of the Materiality Principle, Compliance Standards, and the Democracy Canon,
62 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol62/iss2/4