• Ohio Settles for Subtler Forms of Voter Suppression

    Seventy percent of the 270 electoral votes needed to win in 2012 will come from states that have adopted new restrictive voting laws. Among these is Ohio, the Florida of America's heartland of broken blue-collar dreams, where Republican election commissioners came up with a totally fair and equitable procedure for making sure Ohio's results — technically called The Ohio election results — do not displease Mitt Romney and his allies.

    It went like this: Due to a deadlock between Democratic and Republican election commissioners, heavily Democratic cities like Cleveland, Columbus, Akron and Toledo would have early voting limited to 8 am until 5 pm on weekdays, with no voting at night or during the weekend, when Ohio's black churches routinely carried out get out the vote drives. In strongly Republican counties like Warren and Butler, GOP-controlled election boards approved expanded voting rights to include nights, weekends and generally everything short of "ordering a chicken sandwich at Chick-fil-A counts as a vote for Romney/Ryan."

    All was going well until the NY Times editorial board and the Obama campaign and even George R.R. Martin had a sad about this perfectly equitable plan where Republican counties would have more opportunities to vote than Democratic ones and now no one is going to have weekend early voting

    Ohio's 88 counties will have uniform early voting hours to ensure residents casting ballots in the presidential election are treated equally, Secretary of State Jon Husted said.

    The Ohio Democratic Party had complained that hours for early in-person voting by absentee ballot before the Nov. 6 election were being expanded in counties that lean Republican and not in Democratic ones, to help presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

    Absentee voting starts 35 days before the election in Ohio, and Husted directed that election offices remain open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the first three weeks and until 7 p.m. on weekdays in the final two.

    See, equal protection of the laws are the reason we can't have nice things like weekend voting.

    Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Ohio, Voter Suppression


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