Ohio’s GOP Secretary of State Pulls More Voter Suppression Out of His …. Hat

Last updated on November 5th, 2012 at 09:02 am

Just when you thought we knew all the Republican tricks to make voting more complicated, more bureaucratic and more exclusive, Jon Husted came up with an additional step.

Four days before the election, Ohio’s Secretary of State decided to add an extra step to the process for people who are voting with provisional ballots.

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Under the previous rules, Election Officials had to complete all the paperwork that goes with a provisional ballot. But not in Jon Husted’s Ohio. He suddenly decided late Friday afternoon, to put the onus on voters to complete the paper work.

According to a report by Brandon Blackwell, Husted ordered county officials to discount provisional ballots if the accompanying paperwork is not filled out properly. According to the same report, voter advocacy groups challenged this latest stunt by Husted in court. Fingers crossed that the Courts will smack down this latest stunt by a Secretary of State who has put partisan politics above his responsibilities to the voters of Ohio.

Provisional ballots are used for many reasons, including if someone shows up to vote at a polling place other than the one they were assigned to. This year is also a special one for provisional ballots, thanks to Husted’s decision to send absentee ballots to nearly 7 million Ohio voters. Of the many people who have yet to return their absentee ballots, many may show up to vote in person on Election Day. That means they will have to vote with provisional ballots, and with that raising the probable number of provisional ballots cast. One may think that asking the voter to complete the provisional ballot paper work is not really that big a deal. When taken in the context of Husted’s other shenanigans, this is a huge deal.

Thanks to Husted, there will probably be a lot more people voting with provisional ballots, and with it, more people taking more time to vote, since it does take additional time to complete the paperwork. I would venture to say that Husted is counting on voters making some sort of error while completing the paper work, which means of course, that their vote will not be counted. Also, there will be long delays, which may in itself discourage people from voting.

There’s still time to vote early, even under the restricted hours that Husted put in place after he was ordered to reinstate early voting during the last three days before the election. Husted set up a double booby-trap with this series of moves, so the best way to avoid falling in his trap, if you have an absentee ballot, vote absentee.

The deadline for returning a completed ballot by mail is 12:01 a.m. November 6th and if the ballot is received by the board of elections no later than 10 days following the election.

You or an eligible family member can deliver your completed ballot, which must be sealed in a completed and signed identification, to the board of elections in person. The deadline is 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

This man can talk all he wants about a desire to maintain election integrity and making voting easier. In reality, we’re seeing a systematic effort by Husted to gum up the voting process, and find any possibility to invalidate votes. He’s not only a sorry excuse for a Secretary of State, he’s a sorry excuse for a human being.

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