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Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted just won't stop trying to purge voters from the rolls and using tax dollars to assist Republican candidates.

According to his website, there are over 8 million registered voters in Ohio. Husted has mailed an "Application to Vote Absentee By Mail" to each of these voters. The absentee ballot application was mailed presorted standard U.S. Postage. Assuming the price per piece of mail was twenty five cents, the cost to mail 8 million pieces was $2 Million (this price doesn't include the cost to purchase the mailing envelope; the return envelope; or the double sided, multi-colored absentee ballot application). That's a lot of money to spend mailing out absentee ballot applications to people who didn't request them. So what's really behind the mailing?

First, in bold capitalized letters, the envelopes are marked "DO NOT FORWARD". Voters who have moved and not updated their address with their local Board of Elections will have their absentee ballot application returned to Husted's office by the U.S. Postal Service. Once Husted receives the returned application, he will then, most likely, forward the name and address to the local Board of Elections for purging. At the very least, a voter who appears at their polling place to vote on Election Day, will have a problem and be pressured, or forced, to vote a provisional ballot. The goal, of course, is to purge voters.

Second, historically, Republicans have done a much better job in Ohio of getting their voters to vote absentee by mail. They have had problems getting their voters to actually request the absentee ballot applications. This move helps them overcome one of their hurdles and strengthens one of their strongpoints.

Is Husted's use of tax dollars to mail absentee ballot applications illegal? Maybe not. Is Husted doing this because he wants more people to participate in the voting process? Be for real.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Linky goodness? nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jennyp, davidkc

    'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

    by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 01:53:04 AM PDT

  •  Why oh why, Jennifer Brunner, (8+ / 0-)

    couldn't you have run for SoS re-election which you likely would have won.
    But instead you made a doomed try for the Senate...
    And Husted is in your old office...

    •  She would have lost (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      Give it up already. And her race for Senate might not have been as "doomed" as you think. Lee Fisher lost because he didn't campaign.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

      by anastasia p on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:21:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  in addition, IF the correct USPO wording (4+ / 0-)

    was used -- and it must be CORRECT -- there is a fee for returning the mail. i don't think presorted (bulk) mail gets "returned" unless the correct wording is used, but i only have experience w/non-governmental mailings.

    return to sender, for example.

    my most recent wording was "Address Correction Requested: Return Service Guaranteed," which i believe was revised to "Return Service Requested" or some such. returned mailings have a yellow label with information: either a new address (!) or the exact reason it was not deliverable AS ADDRESSED. the fee is for the information, not just for returning it to the sender.

    if it's gonna be done at all, might as well be done where you get something that documents delivery attempt.

    * Join: OBAMA'S TRUTH TEAM * Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

    by greenbird on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 02:08:26 AM PDT

  •  Thanks For The Explaination (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    politik, marabout40, madgranny

    We got two of those envelopes, one for me and one for my mother. I thought it odd because I don't plan to vote absentee. I am newly registered in OH.

    ..."(Clinton) offered more specifics of the republican plan than the republicans." John Stewart on the Big Dog's Speech at the DNC

    by wild hair on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:52:21 AM PDT

    •  so... if you don't send that back in` (0+ / 0-)

      you will be purged? or do you have to vote absentee now? or can you send the card back in and vote on election day?

      mitt romney: gettin shit done for rich people... in quiet rooms

      by titotitotito on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:29:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, that is completely incorrect (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wild hair

        If you don't want to vote absentee mail-in, you throw it in the trash and vote at your polling place. ONLY if you return it and request an absentee ballot which you then do not use will you have to vote provisional on Election Day.

        Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

        by anastasia p on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:24:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is something the Obama campaign fought for (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anastasia p, a2nite, HudsonValleyMark

      You don't have to vote absentee, this was just done to make it as easy as possible for anybody who wanted to to do so. Traditionally Republicans are much better at requesting absentee ballots, so this automatic mailing is a great thing for Democrats. It should help narrow the gap, and also shorten lines at Democratic precincts on Election Day.

      (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

      by TrueBlueDem on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 06:11:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you, TrueBlueDem (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, HudsonValleyMark, TrueBlueDem

        The diarist has it upside down, as well as adding ungrounded speculation about purging. This diary really should be deleted. It's completely wrong in almost every aspect. Ginning up fear about things that are NOT happening distracts from correcting the things that are, and I am getting tired of it.

        Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

        by anastasia p on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:26:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right. As far as we know Husted is not bright (0+ / 0-)

          enough to come up with truly evil plans like Florida and Texas generally do. The way he provoked the Judge in his most recent over turn suggests he probably throws rocks at bears too.

          I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.” - Frank Zappa

          by OHdog on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:34:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It doesn't matter what you plan to do (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HudsonValleyMark

      Every voter in Ohio received them, thanks to a deal struck by Husted with Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald to make voting easier for everyone.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

      by anastasia p on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:24:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This Information Is Important (0+ / 0-)

        Stealing this election seems like the only thing the thugs who call themselves republican have left.

        The GOP needs to go into oblivion. They have no ideas, they lie, they steal, and they want you to believe they love democracy.

        The USA will be better served by a true opposition party that will cooperate. Yes, it would be good if that opposition party offered a vision, not just obstruction. Today's republicans just like to bully.

        Just listen to Bill Clinton.

        ..."(Clinton) offered more specifics of the republican plan than the republicans." John Stewart on the Big Dog's Speech at the DNC

        by wild hair on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 01:58:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is classic voter caging (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B

    It is an age-old voter suppression technique that Republicans absolutely love to use.

    Maybe someday people will realize the fact that Republicans' intention nationwide is to suppress voter turnout and more specifically, to suppress voter turnout for voters that tend to vote Democratic, i.e. the poor and minorities.  Obviously it is because the GOP is a dying party and the only way they can hold onto the last remnants of their fleeting power is to try to keep more and more people from voting.  You know, if they can't convince voters to vote for them and against their own interests, they don't want them voting at all.

    That should tell people how morally and ethically bankrupt the GOP really is, it should be more than obvious.  Sadly, it doesn't and it isn't.  They've worked hard to build the alternate universe that their voters live in and even though that alternate reality becomes more and more divorced from reality every day as they get more and more desperate, it hasn't (yet) become so divorced from reality that it become untenable.  But I think that day is coming and when it does, there are going to be a whole lot of Republican voters facing some serious cognitive dissonance.

    As the GOP continues to go through their death throes, it's going to get uglier before it gets better.  The silver lining is that the more they lash out, the worse it will be for them in the future and the more they will diminish their party's brand and stature.  They are scorching their own earth and dumping salt all over it but they're too myopic to recognize that that's what they're doing.

    In the short run, we have to work extra hard to counter their obvious and overt contempt for democracy.  This election is a great place to start by demoralizing GOP voters, which will naturally suppress Republican voter turnout.

    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

    by democracy inaction on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:56:41 AM PDT

  •  Mailing out applications to all is a great thing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HudsonValleyMark, anastasia p

    This move will increase absentee voting tremendously, and that is a great for reducing long lines at the polls on election day. In fact, Ohio did this in 2008, and far more people voted by mail than voted by in-person early voting. The vote-by-mail window is much longer than the in-person early voting window, and gives the Obama campaign a lot more time to contact voters and get them to send in their ballots.

    "Do Not Forward" is not there for devious purposes. People who have moved out-of-state and no longer have residency in Ohio should not be receiving absentee applications or ballots under any competently run process. I'm sure states like Washington and California do the same thing.  

    (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

    by TrueBlueDem on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 06:08:42 AM PDT

    •  the question is... (0+ / 0-)

      what, if anything, happens or can happen when these applications "bounce"?

      The diary pretty much treats the answer as self-evident. It isn't. But I don't have time to check all the facts. When is the latest that county boards are allowed to purge voters? What provisions exist in Ohio for challenging voters at the polls? Etc.

      Election protection: there's an app for that!
      Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

      by HudsonValleyMark on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 06:31:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Probably nothing will happen (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HudsonValleyMark

        The diarist is speculating, and not providing any evidence. No properly registered voters will be "challenged" at the polls.

        Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

        by anastasia p on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:27:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  that's what I figured (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          anastasia p

          There's no doubt about this part:

          The diarist is speculating, and not providing any evidence.
          I was looking back at a near-perfect diary by Midwest Millian on voting machine issues that got about the same number of recs this has received. And I asked myself, wouldn't it be nice if informed and informative diaries consistently received more recs than (in your apt phrase) ungrounded speculation?

          </useless meta>

          Thanks for, again, taking the time to try to straighten things out.

          Election protection: there's an app for that!
          Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

          by HudsonValleyMark on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 09:23:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hardly (0+ / 0-)

          Have you seen the plans for challenging voters in Ohio.  There will be thousands of trained, Republican poll watchers armed with computer generated lists.  They expect to challenge almost a million voters.

          Obviously their operation leaks rather badly, but that won't stop it from working.  There will be days of court hearings and tremendous amounts of anger.

          It may get someone killed.  I've had to challenge voters and it isn't something your do lightly.  It enrages people.  In our case they had been mailed an absentee ballot and checked off already.  They had to vote provisional ballot.  I thought he was going to come back with a gun.

          William Hamilton practices Law and is a writer and community activist in the Charleston, SC area. He can reached through www.wjhamilton.com

          by wjhamilton29464 on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 02:25:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  ""Do Not Forward" is not there for devious purpose (0+ / 0-)

      Really? My daughter and her fiance live in Ohio and have just moved to the Toledo area. If this form is delivered to their old address, it will not be forwarded, thus providing the opportunity and justification for removing them from the voter rolls.

      You appear to trust Husted and his minions across the state to do the right thing. In light of the facts about his past actions, I have to wonder about your judgement.

      •  You have not provided any source (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anastasia p, HudsonValleyMark

        indicating that people will be purged if the form is returned. That is simply an assumption on your part.

        (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

        by TrueBlueDem on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:08:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You appear to trust a diarist (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HudsonValleyMark

        who is making contentions based on nothing but fear, panic and speculation. I have to wonder about your judgment. It is wildly unlikely, given the massive amount of work it would take going into an election, for the secretary of state's office to start purging anyone whose application was returned – since this bears no relationship to where they actually live, whether they are currently registered there, when they last voted etc. If they were to try this, it would be costly chaos which would quickly be obvious, even to our state's conservative dailies, and probably cost the Republicans up and down the ticket.

        Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

        by anastasia p on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:31:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They need to submit (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HudsonValleyMark, anastasia p

        their address change to the county board of elections where they moved to.  Essentially it would be a new voter registration.  The deadline is October 9th.  If they submit the new registration Husted can't do anything about it.

        Oh, yeah, if they use their driver's license as ID, make sure that is up to date as well with the new address.  This is a pain, I know, but it is the law.  Otherwise a utility bill or bank statement with their correct will also be accepted as address verification.

        "You're not allowed to sell your countrymen out to multinational financial corporations anymore and still call yourself a patriot." --MinistryOfTruth

        by Kurt from CMH on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:45:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not neccisarily (0+ / 0-)

      Many people from outside Ohio should be voting it the elections there.  People in the military being one common example.  Are you expecting them to vote in the election in Afghanistan?  They probably forwarded their mail to their military post office.

      William Hamilton practices Law and is a writer and community activist in the Charleston, SC area. He can reached through www.wjhamilton.com

      by wjhamilton29464 on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 02:22:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Looks like a prick, acts like one: SOS is a prick (0+ / 0-)
    •  Only the diarist has provided no proof (0+ / 0-)

      just empty speculation. This mailing will HELP Democratic turnout. And there's virtually no way to mount a purge based on applications returned in this short time frame and with the work that would be required coordinating with county boards about who has filed changes of address. They don't have the time or resources to do this type of purge. I know "voter purge" sounds all scary and everything, but you need proof - and posting this diary degrades the issues in states like Colorado and Florida where they are actually dealing with this.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

      by anastasia p on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:33:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, in the 2010 election cycle, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anastasia p, HudsonValleyMark

    Democratic voters in Ohio's urban counties cast about the same number of absentee ballots as 'publicans, at least in the early going.

    My wife and I received our absentee ballot applications this weekend, and I too was suspicious that the return address was to the Ohio SOS.  In the past, it was always to the Franklin County Board of Elections, where I believe the absentee applications actually originated.  It seems like it's possible that this could be used as a tool to keep people from voting, but as other posters have pointed out, it is not so simple-- whether the mail is returned and what happens to it depends on the endorsement on the mailpiece.  

    The thing that everyone who is unsure about their voter registration needs to do is access the website for the Board of Elections and make sure their registration information is up to date.  If it's not, you should update your information NOW.  

    "You're not allowed to sell your countrymen out to multinational financial corporations anymore and still call yourself a patriot." --MinistryOfTruth

    by Kurt from CMH on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 06:47:52 AM PDT

  •  This diary is complete hooey (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HudsonValleyMark

    Incredible misleading and without backing up its contentions.

    I will explain to you why Husted is mailing these applications.

    Last year after he took office, he banned counties that were sending out these applications — which greatly increase voter participation — from doing so. Most were being sent out by large, urban, Democratic counties. Husted's excuse was it wasn't fair because some of the smaller, suburban and rural Republican counties couldn't afford to do so, so it offered unequal access to the ballot (Those of you up in what's been going on will recognize that the hypocritical Husted did a backflip on this during the fight over expanded in-person early voting hours).

    At that point — with boards of election banned from doing this — Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) executive Ed FitzGerald said the county would pay for it. Husted and his minions had a meltdown. He actually threatened to try to find a way not to process county-mailed applications.

    In the end, there was such an outcry that he and Ed struck a deal: if the county did not mail them last year, he would mail them to ALL registered voters this year. One negative point is that he barred use of return postage so voters have to put their own postage on but it's still way better than what he was proposing.

    The idea that this is being done in order to cut voters from the roles is baseless. That was not the origin of this, and you have provided zero evidence it is being done. mainig a statement like "The goal, of course, is to purge voters" verges on HR'able. it is empty speculation on your part.

    You also provide no backup for this:

    Second, historically, Republicans have done a much better job in Ohio of getting their voters to vote absentee by mail. They have had problems getting their voters to actually request the absentee ballot applications. This move helps them overcome one of their hurdles and strengthens one of their strongpoints.
    You seriously think it's harder to get an upper-middle class suburban white voter to request an absentee ballot than a working poor single mom? In fact, what we've been hearing from activists and election experts throughout the entire fight here in the last few months about in-person early voting is that Husted wanted to crack down on it because the Democratic base mistrusts mail-in and prefers to early vote in person. All of those Republicans saying in person early vote isn't important because of the expansion of the mail-in process know this, and know they are disadvantaging  Democratic constituencies. If you have proof that will contradict these people on the ground, please provide it.

    Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

    by anastasia p on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:20:34 AM PDT

  •  One more thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HudsonValleyMark

    The mail-in ballot applications are completely unrelated to whether a voter who has moved will have to vote provisional on Election Day. This mailing was prepared in August. Voters have until October 9 to adjust their address, and OFA has had a major effort underway to do this. More alarmist stuff.

    Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

    by anastasia p on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:23:06 AM PDT

  •  Nice (0+ / 0-)

    Looks like helping people vote but it's voter caging in reality.  Nobody can be bothered to pick up a list of the death certificates a year before the election once a week and purge people as they die, carefully checking each one by hand.  That's boring and requires staff.  

    Instead we get chaos with fortunes being spent in court.  Death certificates are pretty serious documents and they're a matter of public record.  It's easy to match them up with voter registration which also includes birthdates.  

    You could do the job right, but they don't bother because as dead people don't vote, they just age off the list.  That is cheaper, but they panic because they have hundreds of thousands of dead people on the lists, which is the way it has always been.

    William Hamilton practices Law and is a writer and community activist in the Charleston, SC area. He can reached through www.wjhamilton.com

    by wjhamilton29464 on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 02:18:57 PM PDT

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