Bernie Sanders has filed a federal lawsuit in Ohio to stop Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted’s unconstitutional attempt to block young voters from voting in the state’s March 15 primary.
According to the Sanders campaign:
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus, Ohio, along with six Ohio 17-year-olds seeking to vote in next week’s presidential primary in the Buckeye State. It alleges that Husted’s directive would “arbitrarily discriminate” against young voters, who U.S. census data show are more heavily African American and Latino than older groups of voters.
Ohio is among more than 20 states where 17-year-olds who will turn 18 by the general election in November are allowed to vote in primaries. Last December, however, the secretary of state decided the young voters were ineligible to participate in the presidential primary. The lawsuit contends that action discriminates against minorities. It also says that the secretary of state’s actions violate the Due Process and Equal Protection provisions of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The Sanders lawsuit isn’t just about the Democratic primary. What Sec. of State Husted is attempting to do is suppress the vote among younger voters in November. It has been proven by political scientists that voters who vote in the primaries are more likely to vote in the general election. Those who also vote in primaries are easier to get out to vote in November, which is the main reason Republican-controlled states are trying to suppress the vote in primaries.
Bernie Sanders needs those seventeen-year-old voters to turn out to support him in Ohio.
Sanders has consistently led Clinton with voters age 18-24, but in the bigger picture, Sen. Sanders is standing for voting rights, because it is the right thing to do. As Ohio is demonstrating, Republican voter suppression tactics have already begun, but Sen. Sanders is not about to let Republicans lay the groundwork to steal Ohio from the Democratic nominee in November.