Too long?: The process of ballot counting - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Too long?: The process of ballot counting

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

The calm after the storm.  A day after Election day at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. The long lines are gone, but a question looking forward not back is did they have to happen at all?

A voting possibility on the horizon -- online voting, something not yet done in the U.S., but should it be?

"Estonia is allowing citizens to vote online.  Unions are allowing their members to vote online. The technology is getting smarter the security is getting better," said Andrew Rasiej of Personal Democracy Media.

It's sobering to think Estonia is ahead of the U.S., far ahead.  The history of election problems in Cuyahoga County is long and like so many things, political.  Remember the rows of national satellite trucks in 2004 parked outside as the nation scrutinized how we count ballots.

As a result the county moved to electronic balloting.  The cost $21 million.  Then with the strong arming of former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner the system was scrapped.

The recommendation that we made is actually the least cost recommendation for the entire State of Ohio.

Most other counties kept the electronic balloting.  Here it was stopped by former Board of Elections boss Tom Hayes, who's report Brunner used to condemn electronic balloting.  By this point he represented ES&S.  The company sold the county the $13 million optical system that he recommended and is still used.  Then County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones questioned.

"At this juncture we would have to go with one pre-designated vendor when there are others in the marketplace," said Peter Lawson Jones.

Former Elections Board President Tom Coyne says we don't wait in line for anything anymore. Why do it for something as important as voting?

This is not to condemn anything that happened here at the Board of Elections. But as we said at the beginning. Maybe it's time to look ahead and not back. 

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