Ohio has semi-open primary elections, which requires a voter to have a party affiliation. This approach has its pros and cons, but that is not the issue here. The problem: my precinct requires me to announce my party affiliation out loud to poll workers while they check and match my identification. Following this, one of the poll workers manually keys into the touchscreen voting machine the “right ballot” for me. As someone used to Wisconsin and Louisiana ballots that confidentially and automatically pop up on a curtained machine after I check in, I am astonished at this precinct’s process.
Secret Ballot, anyone?
The Ohio pollworker training manual states:
Ohio’s law is structured to place equal numbers of people from the two major political parties at work together for a “check and balance” system to ensure fairness. Each precinct in Ohio must have no more than half of its poll workers representing the same political party.
Yet, human nature and body language being what they are, this is not right. Do you want someone’s stink eye fouling up your whole election experience because you don’t belong to the Right Party? Seriously, it’s hard enough being a Republican in Cleveland or anything other than Republican in this county south of the big city. Again, I’m not sure if this is an Ohio-wide practice, but neither should a poll worker nor people in line with me have to know my party affiliation. That is my business as an American citizen.
So, let me know whether this is legal or if I have to call the county’s board of elections.