Skip to main content

Jon Husted, Republican Secretary of State for Ohio
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted
In Ohio, Republican-approved cutbacks in early voting will disproportionately disfranchise African American voters who live in the state's most heavily populated counties. Ari Berman at The Nation gives us the skinny.

In Cleveland's Cuyahoga County, African Americans make up 28 percent of the population but were 56 of early voters in 2008. In Columbus's Franklin County, they make up 20 percent of the population but were 34 percent of early voters.

That early voting was a product of the mess in 2004 when voting machines were distributed in such a way as to create long lines in predominately Democratic, minority precincts. Many voters simply gave up and went home. A report by the Democratic National Committee estimated that 174,000 voters left the queues. George W. Bush won in Ohio with 118,000 votes. Subsequently, Ohio added 35 early-voting days to the election calendar and 2008 went much smoother. Barack Obama won a majority of the votes in Ohio.

As a consequence, Republicans cut early voting back for the upcoming election from 35 days to 11 days, with the three days right before the election eliminated.

Now, in heavily Democratic cities like Cleveland, Columbus, Akron and Toledo, early voting hours will be limited to 8 am until 5 pm on weekdays beginning on October 1, with no voting at night or during the weekend, when it’s most convenient for working people to vote. Republican election commissioners have blocked Democratic efforts to expand early voting hours in these counties, where the board of elections are split equally between Democratic and Republican members. Ohio Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has broken the tie by intervening on behalf of his fellow Republicans.

‘I cannot create unequal access from one county board to another, and I must also keep in mind resources available to each county,” Husted said in explaining his decision to deny expanded early voting hours in heavily Democratic counties. Yet in solidly Republican counties like Warren and Butler, GOP election commissioners have approved expanded early voting hours on nights and weekends.

Say what? Unequal access for the boards? It's unequal access for voters at issue, sir. But you knew that.

To repeat: Republicans in wealthier suburban districts will be able to vote at night, on weekends and other off-hours during those 11 early balloting days. Working-class Ohioans, Democrats or leaning that way, will find that early-voting hours in their counties are more likely to be available when they're on the job and can't get away. Which, of course, goes counter to the purpose of early voting.

As Abe Zaidan has noted in regard to these shenanigans:

No county will be impacted more than Cuyahoga,  where Democratic officials, organized labor and some clergy  are outraged by the GOP's handiwork.   "It's Republicans' dirty little secret," declared county Democratic  Party Chairman Stuart Garson. "What they are saying is, 'We don't want you people voting'."
Husted and other Republicans can try to label this nothing more than a local affair adjudicated totally within the rules the state has set forth. Move along. Nothing to see here.

In fact, it's the new Jim Crow.

•••

Join us and the Ohio Organizing Collaborative in urging the state to give everyone in Ohio easy access to early voting right up to election day.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 12:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Bob Johnson, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, buffalo soldier, democrattotheend, Sylv, nota bene, TXdem, Trix, filkertom, Radiowalla, hester, teacherken, Geenius at Wrok, Gooserock, TrueBlueMajority, mimi, wytcld, Bob Love, wu ming, Heimyankel, Sherri in TX, CleverNickName, akeitz, eeff, xynz, WI Deadhead, shpilk, Matilda, agoldnyc, concernedamerican, bronte17, Zinman, EricS, DickCheneyBeforeHeDicksYou, cyberKosFan, fugwb, wonkydonkey, whenwego, djMikulec, sayitaintso, themank, shanikka, chimpy, bincbom, Torta, itskevin, jalbert, mollyd, Bill Roberts, Iberian, navajo, litigatormom, revsue, Getreal1246, annan, nancelot, emmasnacker, sockpuppet, TexDem, MKS, brainwave, Steven Payne, Catte Nappe, betson08, 2dot, Matt Esler, Noisy Democrat, Curt Matlock, parryander, Marianne Benz, lyvwyr101, rickeagle, vacantlook, Sassy, Gowrie Gal, Brecht, nailbender, G2geek, ExStr8, kbman, 3goldens, Ckntfld, Unit Zero, subtropolis, HudsonValleyMark, YucatanMan, Laurence Lewis, Gary Norton, boofdah, owlbear1, LNK, SaraBeth, Frank Palmer, where4art, wmspringer, Wufacta, bmaples, sunbro, Cecile, SBandini, Ginny in CO, zinger99, sodalis, coolbreeze, JanL, Box of Rain, Jim R, skywriter, Jennifer Clare, LeighAnn, jsamuel, myboo, Kingsmeg, cybersaur, Clytemnestra, BeadLady, raptavio, mooshter, mskitty, KenBee, anastasia p, Son of a Cat, raincrow, blueoasis, wild hair, Lashe, Ashaman, real world chick, PapaChach, middleagedhousewife, MBNYC, Cato come back, Turbonerd, SingerInTheChoir, doingbusinessas, shaharazade, Aaa T Tudeattack, cpresley, Cronesense, jessical, Habitat Vic, ksp, SemDem, ColoTim, gloriana, EdSF, Mary Mike, flumptytail, newpioneer, College Progressive, MI Sooner, jayden, ubertar, second gen, jnhobbs, millwood, gchaucer2, Rumarhazzit, uciguy30, GeorgeXVIII, madgranny, skod, chujb, gizmo59, JDWolverton, jwinIL14, thankgodforairamerica, rogerdaddy, TruthFreedomKindness, JaxDem, wayoutinthestix, Sixty Something, bythesea, elwior, skohayes, lineatus, alasmoses, jamess, monkeybrainpolitics, here4tehbeer, TomFromNJ, icebergslim, Jake Williams, pickandshovel, TokenLiberal, brasilaaron, temptxan, Gemina13, glendaw271, luckylizard, Karl Rover, Nica24, Fiddlegirl, MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel, bluemoonfever, J M F, Scott Wooledge, dharmasyd, zephyr108, Carol in San Antonio, Nebraskablue, janmtairy, notrouble, dRefractor, geebeebee, TheOpinionGuy, scotths, papahaha, maxzj05, northernlights, jfromga, jan0080, kingfishstew, Railfan, Just Bob, Christy1947, Broke And Unemployed, flitedocnm, NJpeach, eXtina, gramofsam1, Susan Grigsby, David Harris Gershon, Anima, ATFILLINOIS, renzo capetti, cordgrass, bikerwalla, tb mare, ItsSimpleSimon, anonevent, sharonsz, itswhatson, nirbama, Betty Pinson, roystah, ericlewis0, Oh Mary Oh, SniperCT, soaglow, slice, DB55, annieli, kerflooey, Bluefin, coquiero, StateofEuphoria, spooks51, Bob Duck, bgblcklab1, slowbutsure, Buckeye Nation, hooktool, FarWestGirl, Araguato, OhioNatureMom, Nicci August, SoCaliana, NormAl1792, skip945, AnotherAmericanLie, Haf2Read, marleycat, PorridgeGun, BarackStarObama, KVoimakas, Yogurt721, merrily1000, MRA NY, antimony, peregrine kate, Caddis Fly, JoeEngineer, jolux, jadt65, googie, Auriandra, ParkRanger, ArtemisBSG, johnnr2, bearette, AnnetteK, absdoggy, Pinto Pony, stormicats, Liberal Granny, JTinDC, OldDragon, anodnhajo, Flying Goat, StonyB, cwsmoke, angry marmot, pistolSO, We Won, ahumbleopinion, Eric Nelson, The Lone Apple, a2nite, Farkletoo, JGibson, Horace Boothroyd III, jan4insight, belinda ridgewood, Leo Flinnwood, supercereal, Nztorg, Olkate, MartyM, pittie70, ricklewsive, GRLionsFan, avsp, arizonablue, Kinak, Glen The Plumber, Kayjay, wasatch, Marjmar, this just in, Sue B, BobTheHappyDinosaur, non acquiescer, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Late Again, Tim DeLaney, Lucy West, Icicle68, Mannie, Laura Wnderer

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site