Former FEC Chair Brad Smith reports:
“I live in Granville, Ohio, a little town of 3000 about 40 miles from Columbus. Though there are a growing number of commuters to the nation’s 15th largest city, most of the time a “trip to the city” still means the 8 mile jaunt into Newark, Ohio, a small city of about 45,000. Today they are voting for mayor there, and the favorite in the Republican primary is one Robert Diebold. Diebold is no relation to the voting machine manufacturer of fame, but the name is eye-catching here in Ohio, where so much has been made of Diebold machines.
“Further, state law prohibits displaying a candidate’s name within 100 feet of a polling place – but in this case, of course, the candidate’s name is right there on every voting machine. The local elections board sought the advice of Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (a Capital University Law School grad and previously a well known election law attorney in Columbus), who issued a ruling that the name on machines caused no problems, although adding that the local board could choose to cover the names on the machines with tape. The local board apparently chose not to.”