News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

NOCHE


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Politics




Equal voting processes for Ohio counties may still be unfair for voters
Democrats are saying that having the same voting times for each county won't ensure everyone the same experience 
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JO INGLES
This story is part of a special series.


Reporter
Jo Ingles
 

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s directive that election boards in all of Ohio’s 88 counties must keep the same hours leaves some Democrats wondering whether that’s really fair for all Ohioans. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles explains some Democrats say equal is not necessarily fair where voting rights are concerned.

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:10)


Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State is telling boards of elections they need to be open for in person early voting from 8 to 7 on weekdays in the two weeks leading up to Election Day….with the exception of the last Friday when they will close at six.  And Jon Husted says there won’t be any weekend voting.  He’s making these rules after it became known that some Republican leaning counties were allowing generous voting opportunities on weeknights and weekend while some Democratic leaning counties could not.  Husted says this resolution is fair.

“The best decision in this case was one of fairness….treating people equally.  That’s a principle I do agree with.  And we have done that with absentee ballots.  We are now doing that with hours of operation. Again, you may not like the hours of operation.  You may think they are too long.  You may think they are too short.  But they are fair for everybody.”

But Democrats are upset that the Secretary of State didn’t include weekend early voting hours in the mix.  Democratic State Representative Kathleen Clyde says treating people equally in the process is not necessarily insuring everyone has the same experience.

“What happens when you try to bring a large county like Cuyahoga County to try to do the exact same processes as say Vinton County or a much smaller county in Ohio that has 10 to 20 thousand voters as opposed to a million voters, you start to have different treatment. You can’t apply all of the rules exactly the same because then the voters experience can be dramatically different.  You can have long lines in our urban centers and no lines in other areas of the state and that’s a real problem.”

Ohio will operate under new voting laws this election.  That means voters who went to the polls on weekends in 2008 will not be able to do the same this November.  But there will still be early voting opportunities…by mail…and in person at the board of elections during the weekdays on the month before the election.  Democrats are suing to get the three days of weekend voting before Election Day reinstated. Husted’s spokesman, Matt McClelland says the directive by Husted does not deal with that weekend.

“The directive does not address the three days before the election.  It’s currently the focus of the lawsuit that was filed by the Obama campaign so we are waiting for the outcome of the court case to provide further direction and guidance on those three days.”

There are reasons why Democrats want weekend voting, especially the weekend before the election, reinstated.  Gregg Moore is with Fair Elections Ohio, a group that tried to repeal a law that, among other things, wiped out those three days. Moore says in person voting opportunities on nights and weekends were more popular with African Americans than other groups in the 2008 election.

“If you look at the counties, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton and Summit, the percentage of African Americans as early in person voters is 56% in Cuyahoga, 31% in Franklin, 32% in summit and 52% in Montgomery.  The percentage of non African American in person voting is 25% in Cuyahoga, 21% in Franklin so it just shows that a disproportionate number of African Americans who are voting in the in person early voting period more than they are through the regular voting process.”

In 2008, 93,000 Ohioans voted in the three day weekend before Election Day.  Ohio Democratic Party Chair Chris Redfern says that shows many voters prefer that option, and he says if that’s the method voters prefer, state lawmakers should not be allowed to eliminate it.

“The great thing about our constitutional rights is we don’t have defend them rhetorically against those in an opposite political party.  If I want to exercise my free speech by shouting or whispering, one shouldn’t have to ask me why I’m shouting or whispering, I’m exercising my rights that are guaranteed to me by the constitution.”

Redfern says Ohio’s leaders should be making it easier for people to vote by providing different options to accommodate everyone.  Republicans in the legislature who eliminated that weekend say it was too costly and caused too many problems for local elections board employees at a crucial time before Election day.  The court decision on voting on the last weekend before the election is expected soon.

Listener Comments:

ALL VOTES SHOULD BE EQUAL. THE VOTERS IN OTHER STATES WERE ROBBED OR THIER RIGHTS AND NOW IN OHIO HERE WE GO AGAIN. KNOW THAT THESE LAW BREAKERS THAT MAKE


Posted by: C (NYC) on August 30, 2012 10:08AM
It is my opinion that all votes should have equal voting rights.


Posted by: Judy C. Turner (Muskegon MI) on August 23, 2012 2:08AM
All People Have The Right To Be Able To Vote; Voting Should Be Made Available So That All Voters Are Heard!!


Posted by: Ricardo Hill on August 21, 2012 4:08AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook





Stories with Recent Comments

Brunswick will turn tornado sirens back on after bad weather
Put the sirens back after the storms, in the mean time just sit and wait for another tornado . That's Brunswick for you lived here 44 years and it has always be...

Oberlin council may rescind its gun ban, but is considering alternatives to keep it in effect
Seems that the only scared, paranoid people are the anti-gun people, really.

Massive pipeline planned to pump Ohio shale products to Texas
This needs stopped. Ohioans pay the price, putting up with pollution, leaks, explosions, and the top one percent profit from exporting fracked product to China.

National Weather Service confirms three tornado touchdowns yesterday
I was driving back from a party and was caught in the middle of a large thunderstorm. The hail and lightning were a whole light closer than usual, is something ...

Another Indians season opens with Chief Wahoo under scrutiny
The picture you have for Robert rocha is not him. He has long hair. No idea who that guy is in that picture

Portman predicts McDonald's confirmation, but says it won't be easy
I sent the following note to Senator Blumenthal after reading commentary from yesterday's hearing: Senator, You certainly have the right to ask Mr. McDonald que...

Seven minutes changed everything, but what changed Ashford Thompson?
He shot the guy four times in the head. I have never been that drunk or mad, and I have been through it. Shoot a guy once is bad, maybe a mistake, shoot a guy f...

First cricket farm in the U.S. opens in Youngstown
I am interested in cricket flour to replace soy flour in a low carbohydrate diet. As soon as you have cricket flour available for the average person, please le...

New process starts digesting sludge in Wooster
Awesome! When do our sewage rates decrease accordingly?

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University