Here are a few links to other stories in the media about this story
- ThinkProgress always does a good job
- MSNBC offered a good national look at the issue and talks about Kathleen Clyde's attempted fix in the Ohio legislature.
- Cleveland.com does a good overview of the case and its local impact on 40,000 voters in Cuyahoga County. They also do a good job with printing the complaint.
- A Brief look at the law by WKSU-FM
- The Dispatch in Columbus gives the Secretary of State a chance to comment on the lawsuit
All of these raise the issue in Ohio of "Why is Husted sued so many times over voting and ballot issues?" Why does Ohio rely so heavily on the federal courts to oversee the simple process of voting, and finally when is the Justice Department going to intervene to take over supervision of statewide elections in Ohio? How much of all these rules are a racist response to the mobilization of voters that took place in 2008 and 2012 in Ohio?
Nationally, it raises the question of "Why is voting so complicated and now being used as a tool to exclude people from participating in our democracy?" Why would we not move toward universal registration and not purge people from the voter lists for deciding not to vote? Why would we focus on areas where there are proven fraud instead of making rules that exclude more people compared to the number of cases of actual fraud in voting? The Secretary of State in his State Report of 2014, identified 17 cases that were suspicious out of the millions of votes cast in Ohio. This is the justification for voter ID, purging voters and throwing away legitimate ballots with minor technical errors. Here is a copy of the press release on this latest lawsuit.
“Voter rolls with deceased voters and people who've moved out-of-state have long contributed to the problems of voter fraud, long lines and discarded ballots," Husted said. “In 2011, there were several Ohio counties with more registered voters than eligible voters."
Notice that the Secretary of State did not identify any deceased voters who actually voted or even that there was actual fraud cases in Ohio. All of these laws are solutions in search of problems. How does purging a person's registration not result in even more discarded ballots? These people will show up in November thinking that they are registered and then cast a provisional ballot because their name will not appear. Then the local board will be forced to throw their ballot in the garbage because they were not registered. This is all doublespeak that George Orwell warned us about.
So what that there are more registered voters than eligible voters. Are these counties running out of computer storage space? What does it matter? These people are not voting twice so who cares? When only 20-40% of the population shows up to vote, maybe that is what Husted should work on getting more than a minority of the population actually voting. Maybe he should spend his time supervising the local Boards of Elections so there are not 88 different strategies for counting provisional ballots. How about adding early voting sites to reduce lines or adding weekend hours? Why can't we register and vote 35 days before the election? Maybe he should work on getting universal access to free identification for the hundreds of thousands who have financial or paperwork barriers to getting their birth certificate. Maybe, he could focus on making the voting process enjoyable and easy and not some partisan battle with untrained election day "volunteers" put in the middle.
It is horrible that we have these wars going on over the simple process of casting a ballot and participating in democracy. This should not be so difficult and NEOCH should not have to keep going to court to make sure that people who move frequently can participate.
Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.