Righties Lie About Ohio Democratic Voter Lawsuit; Dems Kick Righties in the Teeth. Plus, the Hypocrisy of Jon Husted
Do you remember the legally dubious trick Ohio GOP"s legislature pulled regarding Ohio's early voting window the three days prior to the election — the three heaviest in-person early voting days?
This was part of HB 194, the voter suppression bill for which opponents collected enough signatures to put it on the ballot. When it became clear that was going to fly, the legislature itself repealed HB 194. But it had earlier passed a replacement bill that eliminated the three-day voting window. So despite the repeal, that stood.
Shortly after Secretary of State Jon Husted pulled another sleazy voter suppression trick — voting to prohibit Cuyahoga County from extending in-person early voting hours to evenings and weekends — the Obama campaign sued Husted over the elimination of the three-day window.
It asked to have that window reopened, saying that Husted's objection — that some counties would not do it so nobody should be able to in order to keep voting oportunities uniform — was shot down by the extension of the window to military personnel.
Rightwingers are now in a frothy-mouthed frenzy driven by a blatant lie: they are claiming that the Obama administration is trying to deprive the military of access to the ballot. (No links; you don't want to read this hysterical phony indignation).
Today the Ohio Democratic Party released this:
"Retired Service Men and Women Commend Ohio Democratic Party for Joining Lawsuit to Reinstate Three Days of Early Voting Prior to Election Day for Veterans
Democrats Fighting to Reinstate Early Voting for Nearly 900,000 Ohio Veterans and their Families"
Ha ha. THAT'S the way to frame it! Husted is stealing voting opportunities from VETERANS. (And this is accurate — indeed he is — although they aren't the only ones).
It also released a statement from former congressman (and veteran) John Boccieri:
“From the very beginning, this lawsuit explicitly stated support for military and overseas voters and their right to vote early through the weekend and Monday before the election. Not only did we state this clearly to the court, we also today filed a response supporting the military organizations’ motion to intervene and welcoming these organizations to this fight. Yet while we fight to ensure all Ohioans can vote for the final three days of early voting, as they were all allowed to do in 2008, we are seeing a complete mischaracterization by some Republicans regarding what this case is truly about. This is about restoring equal and fair access to early voting and in no way asks for restrictions to voting. Anything said otherwise is completely false. Period. And as a member of the American Legion and a lifetime member of the AMVETS, I find these claims outrageous.”
Now we learn that Husted's posturing about being a stickler for absolutely equal voting opprtunities for all is a big fat lie. (OK, we already pretty much knew that)
We learned today that many Republican suburban and rural counties, like Warren and Butler, are voting to extend in-person early voting hours beyond regular business hours, while these hours are being denied to many big urban counties. How can this happen? Well, Husted can intervene when a board of elections vote is a tie, but when it's not, he doesn't have to. Since Democrats are less interested in preventing people from voting than Republicans, it's easy to see why there'd be less of a problem in Republican-dominated counties.
Of course, Husted COULD issue a statewide directive IF he were really the purist he pretends to be about making sure everyone in Ohio has EXACTLY the same hours and opportunities to vote.
Here's the statement Husted made about the three-day window lawsuit, as quoted in the Plain Dealer article linked above:
"If consistency for voters is the premise that [Democrats] are after, then they should be very pleased with the changes that we made since I became secretary of state," Husted, a Republican elected to the office in 2010, said in a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon. "If their lawsuit were to be successful, that would not create equal access to voters that weekend before the election because in some counties the boards are open, and in some they are not."
OK, then. Some boards now will be open extended hours — in blood-red Republican areas like Warren and Butler counties. But Husted himself has blocked these same hours from being available in heavily Democratic counties like Cuyahoga.
Choked on any hypocrisy lately, Jon? We'll remember this when you run for governor,