When you heard Republicans falsely accuse Obama of trying to kill the military vote in Ohio, you naturally went looking for what Republicans were really doing in Ohio. This is the way of the modern day Republican Party, and it’s getting so transparent that they should have the good grace to be embarrassed, but no one is going to accuse Republicans of having shame these days.
What’s going on in Ohio right now is quite possibly the biggest partisan attack on the fundamental right to vote in this country. Republicans are blatantly coming for the Democratic vote, showing consistent favoritism to Republican leaning districts.
Rachel Maddow called Ohio voting “insanely partisan” after Republicans voted against early voting in Democratic leaning counties while Democrats are voting for early voting in Republican leaning counties. Who loves America?
Watch Rachel break it down here:
Maddow explained the history of Ohio early voting. Remember the election disaster of 2004, when 170,000 Ohioans left polling without voting due to long lines – a significantly larger number of voters than the margin of victory by which George W Bush won Ohio that year. Well, because of 2004, in 2008 a new law let Ohioans cast a vote 35 days before an election. 2008 went smoothly; that is, that everyone got to vote.
But as Maddow points out, that was a problem for Republicans because Obama took Ohio 51.5% to John McCain’s 46.91%. So when Republicans took control of state government, they decided to do something about this problem.
The Republican-controlled General Assembly tried to eliminate 24 of early voting days, but after political pressure they only managed to get rid of the last 3 days, including the last Sunday, when African American churches like to get out the vote.
But the real scandal, Rachel alerts us, is what’s going on county by county. Democrats and Republicans are voting for more hours and more days to vote for Republican leaning counties, but Republicans in Democratic leaning counties are voting against expanded early voting. In other words, you have Democrats voting to expand hours for Republicans, as should every elected official, while Republicans vote against expanding hours for Democrats. That’s a pretty simple and clear bias.
Across Ohio, that is part of a developing pattern in which extra pre-election voting hours may be denied to voters in large urban counties – most of which traditionally vote Democratic – even as extended hours will be available in some smaller counties with a strong Republican slant.
The issue has emerged amid continuing questions over provisional ballots – cast when there are questions over a voter’s registration, and the source of controversy in past elections – and the Ohio legislature’s failure over the past four years to amend the state’s voting laws to address problems.
Republicans justify this by citing costs. Apparently it’s okay to spend the money in Republican leaning counties for early voting, but not in Democratic leaning counties. We saw them try this in Detroit, Michigan earlier this year.
Back in 2008, 93,000 votes were cast in those three days of early voting that Republicans already killed in Ohio. This is the lawsuit the Obama campaign filed- to restore those three days of early voting for EVERYONE. The Democratic lawsuit seeks to restore early voting “for all Ohio voters.” Well, Republicans can’t have “all” of “You People” voting because then they won’t win.
Unequal access is being justified as due to “budget constraints”. Sound familiar? What kind of partisan hack do you have to be as an elected official to limit access to voting on a party basis? Well, your name would be John Husted, Republican Secretary of State, who has consistently joined with the Republicans to deny expanded early voting in areas that went for Obama in 2008, while allowing extra hours in counties that went McCain.
Cuyahoga County, for example, went for Obama by a more than 2-to-1 ratio, and the Democrat’s edge was about 3-to-2 in both Franklin and Summit counties. In contrast, McCain outpolled Obama 2-to-1 in Warren County and 3-to-2 in Butler County.
Where is the media? The media was all atwitter regarding the Republicans’ red herring — false allegation about military voting in Ohio — but now when real voting rights are at stake, when there is a fundamental attack on the right to vote, a blatantly partisan attack on Democratic voters, the media is silent.
Equal access? This is a blow to the very foundation of this country, and it can’t be allowed to stand. When I was registering voters in 2008, I proudly registered Republicans because it is my patriotic belief that every citizen’s right to vote is precious. We don’t have to agree on the issues, but we should agree on the right to vote. Anyone standing in the way of equal voting rights should not be in elected office. But more to the point, in John Husted’s case, here is a man who is blatantly abusing the power of his office in order to give his party Ohio again.
Hey, John, if ya’ll want Ohio, why don’t you and your party try polices that benefit Ohioans? Just a thought. If you can’t win on the issues, cheat, lie, steal your way into a win, eh boys?
Why do Republicans have no shame? John Husted has disgraced his office and shamed his name. John Husted thinks that it’s his place to grant extra special voting rights and privileges to Republicans, as if he were the King of Ohio. How does he call himself an American?
You may contact John Husted on twitter (@OhioSOSHusted @JonHusted) here, but you should be aware that he’s going to be on the Laura Ingram show today at 10:30 to discuss the 2012 election, in case you thought he might just be unaware of the results of his partisan attack on voting rights. He’s aware. And yes, he is a partisan hack of epic proportions.
It is obvious that only Democrats in Ohio care about the fundamental right of all citizens to vote. They happily voted to expand voting hours in Republican leaning counties. Of this, Democrats can be proud, even if their patriotism is being taken advantage of by a desperate party. Voting rights should be equal to all citizens, no matter their party affiliation.