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Research Report

2008 & 2009 Ohio Elections Summit and Conference

Published: April 9, 2009

This final report on the 2008 and 2009 Ohio Election Summit and Conference (the “Summits”) was drafted at the request of Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, and follows a “preliminary report” originally published on March 9, 2009. It is the product of two historic summits called by Secretary of State Brunner to review the 2008 election and to study ways to improve Ohio’s elections going forward. The Summits were open to the public and focused on a wide variety of election related topics. Discussions were led by election officials, voting rights advocates, academics, and legislators.

The primary purpose of this report is to assist Secretary Brunner, the State Legislature, election officials, voting rights groups, and other Ohio citizens with framing issues and topics for election reform agendas in 2009. More generally, we hope the report will be a useful tool to anyone in Ohio—or elsewhere—who is interested in crafting a consensus-based elections policy that springs from systematic factual analysis and takes into account many different perspectives on voting and elections.

The sources for the information and ideas in the report include statements offered during the Summits; written testimony provided in advance of each of the Summits; post-summit interviews conducted by Brennan Center staff with election officials, other Ohio public officials, voting rights advocates, members of the media, and Ohio voters who participated in the Summits; and figures and analyses supplied in response to requests made by the Brennan Center to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, the Early Voting Information Center, the Pew Center on the States, and Professors Edward Foley, Paul Gronke, Candice Hoke, David Kimball, Quin Monson, Norman Robbins, and Daniel Tokaji, among others.