Yet Again—Federal Court Finds Husted Violated Ohioans’ Voting Rights


Republican Secretary of State has turned the office into a partisan lapdog, not a watchdog for voters’ rights

COLUMBUS – In response to today’s federal court ruling declaring Jon Husted’s directive and other efforts to cut early voting in Ohio before the November general elections as a violation of the constitution and of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern issued the following statement:

“Jon Husted has a documented history of filing last minute appeals and issuing unconstitutional, eleventh-hour directives that aim to prevent convenient early voting hours, and this partisan agenda has wasted over $400,000 of taxpayers’ dollars.  Ohioans deserve a Secretary of State that will fight for expansive voting opportunities for working middle class families, not add to voter confusion with last ditch appeals.  That is why Ohioans will elect State Senator Nina Turner to be the next Secretary of State.”

An August poll conducted by Public Policy Polling on behalf of the Ohio Democratic Party showed Jon Husted narrowly ahead of Senator Nina Turner by 46% to 43%.

FROM TODAY’S OPINION: “Secretary Husted has offered no explanation as to why uniformity, standing alone, should be considered an interest important enough to effectively make it harder for groups of citizens to vote.”[Source: Memorandum Opinion and Order, page 59-60 (9/4/2014)]

BACKGROUND

Three major Ohio editorials made it clear that these bills were being passed for no other reason than deny likely Democratic voters the vote before the 2014 election.  The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s editorial said that the measures “aim to limit voting by Ohioans who might vote for Democrats” and called passage of the bills “an affront to democracy” that allowed politicians to “pick their own voters.”  [Source:Cleveland Plain Dealer (2/19/2014), “Ohio House Republicans should walk away from bills aimed at decreasing the ease of voting in Ohio”]

The Toledo Blade editorial said the bills “would make it harder to vote among citizens whom GOP politicians would rather keep away from the polls.” On the GOP argument that the bills were need to fight “voter fraud,” the Blade noted “[t]hat argument would be more credible if those who make it could point to specific examples of fraud in Ohio voting that their measures would prevent. But they can’t offer evidence of systematic fraud, because it doesn’t exist.  These bad measures aren’t as blatant as the poll taxes and literacy tests that Southern elections officials used during the civil rights era a half-century ago to keep African-Americans from voting. But their effect is largely, and intolerably, the same, and their approval would seem to invite court challenges under federal voting rights law.” [Source: Toledo Blade (2/19/14), “Don’t suppress the vote”]

The Akron Beacon Journal editorial noted that the Republicans decided that “[r]ather than work in a bipartisan way on a comprehensive overhaul of election laws, the Republican-run legislature has proceeded on its own unfortunate course. This week, the Ohio House is working on bills that push aside important priorities and contain flaws that would make voting more difficult.” [Source: Akron Beacon Journal (2/18/2014), “Election partisans”]

Jon Husted supported cutting early voting days by a week.  According to the Columbus Dispatch, Secretary of State Husted recommends that “early voting would instead start 29 days before the election” but it end during the afternoon “the Sunday before the general election.”  [Source: Columbus Dispatch, (10/24/2013), “Husted promotes limits on early voting.”]

Federal courts already ruled in 2012 and 2014 that Husted’s prior attempts to cut general election early voting days were illegal.  In 2012, the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Ohio ruled that Ohio could not cut off early voting the Friday before the general election.  Republicans attempted to reduce the number of days of early voting, but the Ohio General Assembly reversed course after HB 194 was threatened with a referendum campaign.  [Source: Reuters (8/31/12), “Court overturns Ohio early voting restrictions in win for Democrats.”]

This relief granted by the Court was made permanent in 2014. [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer, (6/11/2014), “Federal court orders Ohio restore early voting hours on 3 days before Election Day.”]

The decision declaring Republicans’ attempt to cut off early voting before Election Day unconstitutional was upheld by federal appellate courts.  The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s decision declaring the restriction “unconstitutional.”  “The court acknowledged an argument that ‘low-income and minority voters are disproportionately affected by elimination’ of the three days of polling for many voters and said ‘there is no definitive evidence… that elections boards would be tremendously burdened’ by returning poll access to the standard before recent changes to the state’s laws.”

 
FitzGerald for Ohio 2014

Ed Fitzgerald, is running for Governor because — as a husband, father, FBI agent, prosecutor, mayor, and Cuyahoga County Executive — he has seen that too often our government does not work for working families.  Ed believes in making Ohio work for everyone, not just the wealthy & well connected.               http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

Sharen Neuhardt,   Worked her way through Northwestern University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and earned her law degree from Georgetown University.  Throughout her career, Sharen has been proud to work closely with many local companies to help them expand their businesses and create jobs throughout the Miami Valley. As Lieutenant Governor, she’ll use that experience to spearhead innovative public-private partnerships in order to spur job creation and economic growth.   http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/about/sharen/

David Pepper,  David Pepper is a common sense and hard-working leader committed to building strong, safe and vibrant communities across Ohio. David has a track record of fighting for safe streets and job growth while cleaning up government and increasing transparency.  David Pepper successfully fought for public safety in Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati. He will do the same as Attorney General, working in partnership with local law enforcement to fight crime, protect citizens and help victims.  http://davidpepper.com/

Nina Turner,  State Senator Nina Turner knows what it means to work hard.  Her path first led her to Columbus, where she served as an aide in the very same chamber she is now a member of. She went on to become the mayor of Cleveland’s Executive Assistant for Legislative Affairs, and the Director of Government Affairs for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.  Because of this work, Nina became a leader in her community and was elected as the first women to ever represent Cleveland’s Ward 1 on city council. She was then appointed to the vacant 25th Ohio Senate seat, and two years later was elected to a full term after winning the respect of the hard-working women and men of Northeast Ohio.  Nina is running for Secretary of State to expand ballot access and ensure that all Ohioans have opportunities to succeed. Because regardless of your political affiliation, every eligible voter deserves to have their ballot counted.

Connie Pillich,  As an Air Force Veteran, a state legislator, and mom, Connie Pillich is an Ohio leader unlike any other.  She built her career around the belief that hard work, common sense,  and a commitment to getting things done are the foundation for delivering positive change.  An 8 year veteran of the Air Force, she served proudly in support of Operation Desert Storm and was a three time recipient of the Air Force Commendation Medal.  She is serving her third term as the voice of the 28th Ohio  House District in Cincinnati. She works hard, she works smart, and she get things done.    http://www.conniepillich.com/

John Patrick Carney,  John Patrick Carney is a bipartisan leader committed to policies that work for working people.  John earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Ohio State University in 1998 and 2001, respectively.  In the Ohio House, John has worked to pass bipartisan policies that benefit Central Ohio’s working families.  John has been part of strategic planning for Ohio’s financial future, overseeing the allocation of taxpayer dollars for important short- and long- term projects.    http://votecarney.com/

To read more about these exciting candidates, go to their web pages or click on the tab above for the 2014 Candidates.  Please VOTE!

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Welcome to the Clinton County Democratic Party Website.

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 Clinton County is located in southwestern Ohio and is represented by legislators in the 86th Ohio House of Representative District, the 17th Ohio Senate District and the 3rd Congressional District.

In 2005, the total number of registered voters in the county's 32 precincts is 24,746.  There are 1,890 Democrats, 6,545 Republicans and 16,311 Independents.

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