Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Voter-card rules cause concern

By Andrew Welsh-Huggins
The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - A reminder that state voter registration cards must be printed only on heavy cardboard-like paper has created confusion for some county elections boards.

Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell issued the order after questions were raised about the proper weight of the paper. Registration cards are permanent records under state law. Blackwell's office requires the cards to be printed on 80-pound card stock.

Blackwell's office says the order is meant to prevent lightweight cards from being shredded by postal equipment. Blackwell, a Republican, says boards should accept all forms and register voters, then send voters the proper card - printed by the county board - to fill out for the permanent record.

On Tuesday, Ohio Democratic Chairman Denny White called the paper reminder an "antiquated rule" and an unnecessary barrier to voter registration.

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