Ohio Republicans Sneak A Vote Suppression Rider Into State’s Transportation Budget

Jon Husted Ohio

Every time a Republican sneaks an unrelated rider into a law, it’s a guarantee that someone will get screwed. Art Pope’s Republicans in North Carolina included last minute anti-choice provisions in a motorcycle safety bill.  Often, but not always, these riders come in at the last possible moment.  It’s the political version of the frowned upon court room tactic of unfair surprise.  Unfair because opponents don’t have a chance to research the provision and the public doesn’t have a chance to comment at all.

This was one of those riders. This time, the targets are college students who Republicans clearly want to disenfranchise because they tend to vote Democrat.

This time, Republicans in Ohio snuck a vote suppression rider into a transportation budget bill in an effort to disenfranchise out of state students.

Plunderbund explains,

The new language in the bill will have these students convert to an Ohio driver’s license, register their cars with Ohio plates and assume a few other costs that would raise their out-of-pocket expenses to an estimated $100.

This amounts to pricing young, mostly Democratic voters, out of the franchise. According to Cleveland, 116,000 college students will have to pay what amounts to a poll tax.

Of course, the rider’s sponsor claims there is nothing to see here. It’s all about regulating vehicle registration laws.  The fact that this will also make it harder to vote for college students (who tend to vote Democrat) is just the cherry on top.

That’s not how state Representative Kathleen Clyde (D)  saw it.

“It’s very concerning the message we’re sending to young people and to people moving to our great state about their fundamental right to vote.”

Anyone with a brain can see this was brought in at the last minute to avoid scrutiny be it from lawmakers or the general public.

On puzzling thing lies in the fact that this rider made it through the State Senate with unanimous support.

Again, according to Plunderbund, Akron Sen. Tom Sawyer says the Democrats who voted for it did so because there was “more good in the bill” even than just that little vote suppression rider and besides they signed a petition asking Governor Jon Kasich for a line-item veto.

Vote suppression has been an obsession of Jon Husted, Ohio’s Secretary of State, who claims there’s a “widespread” problem of non-citizens voting across the state.  Yet, his own investigation proved this “widespread” problem is non-existent.

That investigation uncovered 145 non-citizens who were registered to vote in the state in 2014.  That’s .0002 percent of Ohio’s 7.7 million voters.

In the end, Husted’s efforts are proving to be an effective form of suppressing the vote. Between 2010 and 2014, voter participation in Ohio dropped by a whopping 22 percent.

Only 36.2 of eligible voter in Ohio cast ballots in the November 2014 general election.

According to Nonprofit Vote, Ohio ranked 34th in voter turnout.

24 Replies to “Ohio Republicans Sneak A Vote Suppression Rider Into State’s Transportation Budget”

  1. These kinds of tactics may keep Republicans in office for another cycle or two, but IMO, it will eventually catch up to them. Republicans are going to have to start doing things for the average American if they want to remain relevant.

  2. They can do what my grandson does…vote via absentee ballot. If they make sure they send for the one in their state their parents can forward it to them…of course, this would only work in a general election not on primaries or ballot issues.

  3. You know, why do they constantly complain about something that barely exists to begin with?

    There hasn’t been that much voter fraud at all. I guess to them, voter fraud consists of anyone who doesn’t vote Republican.

  4. They cannot compete on the issues. They are scared to death of Hillary. They are coming up with some really slimeball candidates. What are they going to do? Cheat every which way they can. Repugs truly are disgusting.

  5. Eventually this voter suppression will affect their base to keep them from voting. Old white fox viewers who live on social security will get benefit cuts and won’t be able to afford to get ID’s. The law of unexpected consequences always catches up to those who want to do harm.

  6. Recent Independent. Life long Democrat b4 that. I must be missing something. If they vote in Ohio,shouldn’t they be registered in Ohio? If they are registered in Ohio shouldn’t thei cars & driver’s license be registered in Ohio. Most students still in class are their parents dependents anyway. If they are from out of state,simply register the vehicle in their parents domicile.

  7. Ok, there is a solution to this.

    If Ohio wishes to make these students get Ohio drivers license and register their car there also, this makes them residents of Ohio. The the colleges and universities will have to start charging them in-state tuition instead of the out-of-state tuition they now charge them.

    I don’t think they are going to like that very much.

  8. Oh, and I forgot to add; these Republicans may be shooting themselves in the foot because once these students are forced to become residents, they may just angry enough to vote Democratic.

    Comforting thought, that.

  9. Just think how much money they and their parents will save (and how much the Universities will LOSE) when all these students will no longer have to pay “out of state” tuition! And how many more Democrats will be voting in Ohio! Republicans just love shooting themselves in the foot!
    BTW I think this is stupid … are students even allowed to use their dorms as a legal address? Or will they be required to rent an apartment now to attend shcool?

  10. Most of them will be living on their kids couch or out of a box on the street if the GOPTea cuts keep cutting. Most elderly I know are barely squeaking by each month. Any cut and a lot of them will be homeless.

  11. This is so sad. It is time to prohibit these last minute riders of unrelated legislation in bills. A bill should be about whatever the bill is intended for, not an omnibus of everything including the kitchen sink. And when a rider is added, then it cannot be voted on until all the involved parties get to review every last bit of added wording. These tactics have to stop. Period. End of story.

  12. As backwards as Pennsylvania is in some ways I am glad we have a provision in our state constitution that says a bill can only deal with one subject. The legislature often tries to sneak unrelated items into bills but if they get away with this subterfuge there are grounds for the courts to throw out the intruder.

  13. They still have to register to vote. Meaning if they want to vote in Ohio they have to do the things noted above. It’s a pole tax.

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