Voter Suppression May Be Surfacing In Ohio Recounts

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) is apparently not done with his attempts (and successes) at suppressing votes. With two recounts going on in Ohio that would give Republicans a supermajority with which to vote in whatever they wanted, ballots are being thrown out that shouldn’t be. Think Progress reports:

State representatives Kathleen Clyde (D-OH) and Debbie Phillips (D-OH) threatened to sue Wednesday evening over at least 384 ballots that have been discarded in the two districts in question, Tuscarawas and Cuyahoga. According to the state reps, some ballots were put in plain manila envelopes instead of provisional ballot envelopes, rendering them invalid. Additionally, they say Husted is rejecting ballots covered under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which allows voters who have moved to a different address within the same congressional district to vote at their former precinct.

Even more ballots are likely to have been wrongly discarded because officials are using a database already proven to be flawed and incomplete to determine the voter’s registration status.

It is extremely likely, as Florida Republicans have admitted, that these efforts are expressly meant to suppress the vote of members of the Democratic Party. As I’ve stated before,

“Let’s get something straight here. Voter suppression is much more heinous than it seems — it isn’t simply taking away people’s rights, and that would be bad enough. It is the undermining of the democratic machine that Americans pride ourselves on. There is a distinct feeling from conservatives that they believe they are more patriotic than those of us on the left — however, with multiple petitions for many states to secede, as well as those asking the electoral college to refuse to elect Obama despite his winning both the electoral and popular majorities, the question must be asked: has the right wing forgotten what makes America great?

It’s the same thing for those legislators that feel they must push their own agenda at all costs. You get elected based on your platform — and thereby your agenda — over your competitor’s, sure. That, and, of course, how much you spend. Once you are elected, though, your main duties no longer lie in pushing your agenda. It’s about representing your people. Part of being a politician  and/or elected official means that you must recognize that your first duty is to your country and district. If those in your district don’t support you any longer, you must take the moral high road and recognize that it is your time to go. What you should not do is fall prey to delusions of grandeur and get yourself — or those that share your views — reelected at all costs.”

I truly don’t understand how you can justify suppressing votes with yourself as a legislator or member of the government. What is going on in Ohio right now is absolutely disgusting. A judge had originally stopped it, but as Think Progress goes on to say,

Besides these possible breaches of federal election law, Husted is also tossing innumerable ballots that were thrown into question by poll worker error through no fault of the voter. A federal judge tried to stop him, declaring “I don’t want to see democracy die in the darkness on my watch.” But the conservative Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay that allowed Husted to throw out these votes.

We can only hope this won’t have lasting damage.

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