Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ohio Secretary of State Says Restoring Early Voting Is ‘Un-American’


During his keynote speech at an election law symposium at University of Toledo on Friday, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) claimed two recent court decisions restoring early voting on the last three days before the election was “un-American.”
Husted has sought to restrict early voting, even openly defying a court order to lift the ban on voting on the last three days before Election Day. Once the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal, Husted immediately capped voting hours at just 16 hours for the entire three day period, down from 24 hours in 2008.
At the UT symposium, Husted continued his revolt against the federal courts that restored early voting. The Toledo Blade reports:
Mr. Husted spoke of a recent federal court decision that he claimed intruded on Ohio’s ability to run its own elections and called it an “un-American approach to voting” — an opinion not shared by many who attended the symposium.
“It’s the job of the federal courts to enforce the Constitution; that includes the right to vote,” said Daniel Tokaji, a professor at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law who was a panelist at the symposium, after the secretary’s comments. “…We should be doing everything we can to improve access to eligible voters.”
Husted asserted that every vote would be counted fairly and accurately, saying that voting in Ohio is “easy” and “anybody who says that there are residents in Ohio being barred from the right to vote is irresponsible.” Husted has certainly had to contend with many such “irresponsible” people. Though the court restored this three day period of voting, Husted has still prevented Ohioans from voting on evenings or weekends throughout October. He also recently limited the ways election boards can contact voters to clear up errors in their absentee ballots.

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