The GOP war on voting: Ohio Secretary of State in contempt of court order

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Now this guy definitely should do jail time for voter suppression — Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is in comtempt of a court order issued a week ago. The court should find him in contempt on Monday and order him to cool his heels in jail for a few days. Last-Minute Ohio Directive Could Trash Legal Votes And Swing The Election:

A last-minute directive issued by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted
(R) could invalidate legal provisional ballots. Ohio is widely viewed as
the most critical state for both presidential campaigns and — with some polls showing a close race — the 11th-hour move could swing the entire election.

The directive, issued Friday, lays out the requirements for
submitting a provisional ballot. The directive includes a form which
puts the burden on the voter to correctly record the form of ID provided
to election officials. Husted also instructed election officials that
if the form is not filled out correctly by a voter, the ballot should
not be counted.

According to a lawsuit filed by voting rights advocates, this is
“contrary to a court decision on provisional ballots a week ago and contrary to statements made by attorneys for Husted at an Oct. 24 court hearing.

Indeed, it also appears directly contrary to Ohio law. From the lawsuit:

Ohio Rev. Code § 3505.181(B)(6) provides that, once a
voter casting a provisional ballot proffers identification, “the
appropriate local election official shall record the type of
identification provided, the social security number information, the
fact that the affirmation was executed, or the fact that the individual
declined to execute such an affirmation and include that information
with the transmission of the ballot . . . .” (Emphasis added.)

The law “ensures that any questions regarding a voter’s identification are resolved on the spot
or, consistent with due process, the voter is informed that he or she
needs to provide additional information to the board of elections. This
protects the integrity of the voting process, and provides a reasonable
opportunity to resolve deficiencies.”

[This lawsuit arises out of Ohio's "right church, wrong pew" rule. Several precincts vote at the same polling location. Errors resulting in provisional ballots being issued are largely due to inexperienced or poorly trained poll workers not directing voters to the right precinct table at the polling location. The burden rests on the state, not the voter, to get it right.]

The last-minute directive changes this and switches the burden to the
voter, greatly increasing the chances that legal provisional ballots
will be discarded.

The court gave Husted until Monday to respond to the lawsuit and indicated it will resolve the dispute before provisional ballots are counted on November 17.

This evil bastard is the GOP's poster boy for voter suppression this year.

UPDATE: The Associated Press
reported that 31 percent of the 2.1 million provisional ballots cast
nationwide in 2008 were not counted, and called provisional ballots the
“hanging chads of 2012."

See: Ari Berman at The Nation, Eleventh-Hour GOP Voter Suppression Could Swing Ohio.

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