I’ve received reports that behavior looking suspiciously like voter suppression is happening at precinct 24E in Cincinnati at Mother of Christ Church. I’ve heard from two sources, one of whom wishes to remain anonymous. Legally, nothing is considered voter suppression unless it is proven that there was the intention to suppress votes. Proving intention is a tricky thing. However, the outcome, if these reports are accurate, is that people who wanted to vote in this election may be discouraged from voting or not have their votes counted unless the election is close enough to warrant counting provisional ballots.
According to these reports, voters who come to Mother of Christ Church erroneously – and there are multiple polling locations on the same street so it’s easy to get confused – are being encouraged to fill out provisional ballots rather than being told where their correct precinct is.
In addition, my sources have multiple reports of people who are registered at that precinct being forced to fill out provisional ballots even if they’re on the books at the location and have correct ID on them. The deputy judge, Dan Unger (in the photo bellow), reportedly came outside and told all the voter protection and election protection people to stop talking to voters. I was told that Unger also said they are not making people fill out provisional ballots, which is contradicted by the reports my sources are getting.
Daniel Rajaiah of Clifton Ohio posted the following photo on his Facebook page this morning.
“This is the election official Dan Unger who is forcing many African Americans to vote provisionally at my precinct. I asked him why and he just kicked me out of the church. Elections lawyers are on their way!”
~ Daniel Rajaiah, Clifton Ohio
They’ve notified the OFA voter protection team about it, which is all they knew to do. They are monitoring it but it doesn’t appear anything has changed inside the polling location – they continue to hear the same reports from many voters that election officials are having them vote provisionally, even people who are registered to vote there.
I told them that they can call 855-VOTE-199 and 1-866-OUR-VOTE toll-free. I told them they can also report long lines or voting problems at OurVoteLive.org or via Twitter with hashtag #OVLReport. I told them that if possible, they should use their phones to video the situation or interview the people affected and submit the video to VideoTheVote.org, or post it to YouTube or Twitter tagged with #VideoTheVote.
Story by Lauren Michelle Kinsey
Follow Lauren @OHLMK
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