It was only a few short days ago that Mitt Romney lied for no apparent reason about Barack Obama wanting to disenfranchise military voters. Somehow, giving everyone in Ohio three extra days to vote would be like the next Pearl Harbor, except instead of Japanese bombs, Obama’s planes would drop little Dennis Kuciniches to socialize everything.
But hey, Mitt Romney, turn that frown upside down! (Or that weird grin-grimace thing you do when confronted with the spectre of human feelings.) Even if you can’t hide behind the military to temporarily disenfranchise Democrats, there’s like a million other ways you could do it, because Ohio Republicans are the Steve Jobses of Democrats not voting.
In response to the 2008 election results, Ohio Republicans drastically curtailed the early voting period in 2012 from thirty-five to eleven days, with no voting on the Sunday before the election, when African-American churches historically rally their congregants to go to the polls. (Ohio was one of five states to cut back on early voting since 2010.) Voting rights activists subsequently gathered enough signatures to block the new voting restrictions and force a referendum on Election Day. In reaction, Ohio Republicans repealed their own bill in the state legislature, but kept a ban on early voting three days before Election Day (a period when 93,000 Ohioans voted in 2008), adding an exception for active duty members of the military, who tend to lean Republican. (The Obama campaign is now challenging the law in court, seeking to expand early voting for all Ohioans).
Okay, so there are like eighteen laws now that allow voting at some point before election day based on military affiliation and maybe what god you believe in, it’s not clear. But at least it’s the same law across the state.
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.
I mean, that makes sense, you wouldn’t want unequal access across-
Yet in solidly Republican counties like Warren and Butler, GOP election commissioners have approved expanded early voting hours on nights and weekends. Noted the Cincinnati Enquirer: “The counties where Husted has joined other Republicans to deny expanded early voting strongly backed then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008, while most of those where the extra hours will stand heavily supported GOP nominee John McCain.”
Oh, fuck you with a million burning hammers.
This can’t even be a real thing. This is like some crazy conspiracy you read about in the comments section of a newspaper article between links to 80% off Prada Gucci Viagra BIG TIME DEALS. This is America. We are, at the very least, supposed to have our thorough corruption of the voting process appear facially neutral. This is offensive to everything I’ve come to expect from targeted voting restrictions in America.
I AM DISAPPOINT.