COLUMBUS — State Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) was recently named Legislator of the Year by the Ohio Association of Election Officials. The organization chose Rep. Patterson for their annual honor in recognition of his promotion of civics and his work on adequately funding the replacement of aging and outdated voting equipment.
“Voting is our most fundamental freedom, and it’s the most powerful tool taxpayers have in maintaining our democracy and holding elected officials accountable. We must do everything we can to ensure continued confidence in the electoral process, and that starts with adequately funding modern voting equipment in all parts of our state,” Patterson said. “I am truly humbled to receive this prestigious award.”
During 2017 deliberations over House Bill 49, Ohio’s biennium budget, as ranking minority member on the State Government and Agency Review Subcommittee, Patterson championed amendments that would have increased funding for voting machines throughout the state. Republicans voted against Patterson’s amendment multiple times before eventually accepting a version that reduced the state’s matching funds from 80 percent to 50 percent for new county voting equipment. Gov. John Kasich ultimately vetoed the provision after the passage of HB 49.
Patterson said he would continue to work across the aisle in the upcoming state capital budget to hold the state accountable for taking up its fair share of local election costs.