In 2004, Ohio was the poster child for voter suppression. Secretary of State Ken Blackwell wowed America with his tactics. Refusing voter registrations because they were on the wrong weight paper; machine shortages in Democratic (read urban) precincts. Blackwell played fast and loose with provisional ballot procedures by narrowly interpreting law to exclude those who went to the wrong polling place, only issuing ballots to people who have recently moved, or other exclusive reasons not to permit a vote.
In short, Ohio was ground zero of hinky election practices.
People stood in the cold November rain for hours to try [...]Full Story... →
Among the more aggressive political myths projected by the state’s editorial writers and garden variety pundits is that Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, has earned a big gold merit badge for his concern about Ohio’s scandalous congressional district lines. After all, he talks about it all the time.
But wait! Husted is a Republican. The gerrymandering was carried out by Republicans who are quite comfortable with their congressional victories at the polls. Both houses of the General Assembly are controlled by Republicans. Gov. Kasich and his crowd are all Republicans. Question: Why would any of these operatives want [...]Full Story... →
Some good news from the courts. United States District Court Judge Peter Economus has issued a permanent injunction ordering Ohio to reinstate the three days of early voting preceding the election.
The full opinion is available on the excellent Moritz Election Law Litigation webpage.
Quick refresher: Following the TCF that was the 2004 presidential election, Ohio adopted no-excuse early voting. Ohio permitted voters to cast early ballots up to the day before an election. The Republicans in the Legislature noticed that early voting was done primarily in Democratic-leaning areas, and especially in Africa-American areas. As part of a broader effort [...]Full Story... →
There is nothing in Secretary of State Jon Husted’s clean-cut boyish appearance, demeanor and voice to suggest that he is a threat to anybody. Not only is he a Republican poster politician from southwestern Ohio, he also was a small-college all-American football player, which is packed with style points.
So when he stands before a microphone to assure everyone that he has made it easier to vote and harder to cheat, you want to give him the good-guy benefit of the doubt. Even when you know that in neither case is it true..
That was his essential message to an [...]Full Story... →
On Monday Salon posted a look behind the curtain of Ohio Secretary Of State Jon Husted’s voter suppression plans.
You may remember that Husted was the GOP’s poster boy for suppression in the 2012 election cycle. His blatant restrictions were slapped down by the federal court and the US Supreme Court. This was the same Supreme Court that gutted the Voters Rights Act, and ever they found Jon Husted’s plans to be too much.
With losses in the courts and a resounding reelection victory by President Obama, the Republican led Ohio Legislature did the only logical thing they could: they went [...]Full Story... →
On February 25th, 2014 Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted released information about voting hours for the November 2014 election. Husted said would not be allowing any early in-person voting during the evenings or on the two days before the election, and he would not be allowing any early voting on Sundays, the day typically used by African-American churches for their Souls to the Polls GOTV efforts.
Two weeks later, in a clear attempt to quiet the ever-growing chorus of critics accusing Husted of intentionally trying to disenfranchise African-American voters, a number of publications around the state published a guest column by Secretary of [...]Full Story... →
A new PPP poll shows Nina Turner leading Jon Husted by one point in the race for Ohio Secretary of State. Turner leads with 45% versus Husted’s 44%. 12% chose “Not Sure.”
Turner leads by seven points with Independents, three points with women, four points with 18-to-29 year olds and and 16 points with 30-to-45 year olds.
Detailed results are below.Full Story... →
Secretary of State Jon Husted on Friday dumped two Libertarian candidates from Ohio’s ballot.
Husted disqualified Charlie Earl, a candidate for governor, and Steven Linnabary, a candidate for attorney general. Husted concluded that petition signature gatherers failed to comply with Ohio laws requiring them to be either Libertarian or a political independent and another requiring them to disclose their employer. A court challenge is inevitable.
Husted’s motivations are obvious. The Libertarian candidate likely would draw votes away from Governor John Kasich. This isn’t a secret, even Republican state chairman, Matthew Borges, admitted that the GOP helped with [...]Full Story... →
The Hamilton County Republican Party, backstopped by Secretary of State Jon Husted, continues its single-minded focus on disenfranchising African-American voters.
Husted, who drew national attention for his iron-fisted approach toward making it as hard as possible for African-Americans to vote early, will likely break an upcoming tie vote in the Hamilton County Board of Elections.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because Husted did the same thing in 2012 to keep the Board of Elections closed, and to prevent vote-by-mail applications from being sent. Foiled by the Voting Rights Act, Husted seems to have concocted a new [...]Full Story... →
Jon Husted’s office says that it’s “worth looking into” whether or not absentee voters who cast a provisional ballot should be prosecuted.
I looked into it. Here’s the damn law:
If a registered elector appears to vote… and that elector has requested an absent voter’s ballot… but the director has not received… that elector’s [ballot]… the elector shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot…
The statute doesn’t encourage voting provisionally, but it anticipates that voters will want to vote provisionally if they’re uncertain about their absentee ballot. And it expressly permits what these voters did.
The Full Story... →
Jon Husted is running the same urban voter suppression play that he ran in 2012.
In Cincinnati, he broke a partisan tie at the Board of Elections to send 59 voters to the county prosecutor for following the instructions of poll workers and BoE staff to vote provisionally. According to the Enquirer, “county prosecutors say, under the law the voter’s intentions don’t matter.” Yes, the fact that they didn’t break the law is what matters.
In Columbus, the number is 90 voters. And according to the Dispatch, “Preisse said during the meeting that it didn’t matter why people [...]Full Story... →