More Limits on Voting in Ohio

A number of editorial boards have condemned these voter suppression bills. The Plain Dealer editorial is here. Toledo Blade has weighed in opposing the changes in February.  Democrats all opposed the changes, and have threatened lawsuits.  It looks like we will again spend the spring and summer engaged in many lawsuits over the process of casting a ballot in Ohio.  There is a perception that all these changes are being done for purely political reasons.   The picture on the side of this story is the line at the Cuyahoga Board of Elections on the Sunday before the November election in 2012.  These lines were replicated all over the state showing that there was demand for Sunday voting, but the legislature wants us to conform to the wishes of government and not force government to conform to the wishes of the people. 

Besides the three laws passed that eliminate Golden week, tighten controls over provisional ballots so that fewer ballots will count, and prevented anyone but the State legislature from sending out absentee ballot request forms the Secretary of State has taken action to limit early voting.  Jon Husted has eliminated the popular voting on Sunday. He has prevented local boards from opening in the evenings, which will make it harder for individuals to cast an early vote.   We will have to have the same hours as the smallest counties in Ohio for early voting which will just increase the lines around the boards.  Then last week he sided with the two Republicans down in Hamilton county to move the main polling place way outside of the downtown for early voting in Cincinnati. 

All of these activities can only be viewed as making it hard for the voters from one political party from casting a ballot.  The times that were popular for African Americans, low income people, and students are all being reduced.  If these times remain intact after the challenges, we are guaranteed to see long lines on Election Day 2016 in Akron, Cleveland, Oberlin, Wooster, Franklin County, Hamilton County, and other communities. 

Brian Davis

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