Last updated: August 23. 2013 2:23PM - 19 Views

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Perhaps Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner can come up with a more drastic scare. With the numbers getting worse for her pet cause, she'll need to justify the political award she received this week.Ohio counties using touch-screen voting spent at least a combined $358,000 to provide paper ballots for the March 4 primary, The Columbus Dispatch reported. The 53 counties with touch screens printed more than 880,000 paper ballots - but used only about 13,400. Brunner wanted paper ballots available for those who didn't trust machines to count their votes. All told, paper ballots accounted for fewer than 1 percent of the vote in the counties using them, The Dispatch reported, although the newspaper did not have results for two counties at the time of its report. Does "restoring trust" - that's what the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation said Brunner was doing when it gave her the Profile in Courage Award on Monday - only come in tiny bits? More likely, Brunner made an issue where none existed, citing security concerns, only to provide a solution few used. Brunner's office plans to reimburse counties for the cost of using paper ballots, which strikes us as doubly odd. First, why does the state government see fit to throw taxpayer money at an option fewer than 1 percent of voters in the eligible counties chose to exercise ? Second, is Brunner unaware everyone else in state government is looking for cost savings even as she deems it proper to spend $27 per vote cast on paper?Ex-Attorney General Marc Dann is getting all the attention right now with his office's sexual harassment scandal. But, as far as first-term Democratic officeholders who ran against everything bad they saw in everything Republican, Brunner deserves her share of the credit. Common sense isn't going to get in her way of solving a problem that didn't exist.

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