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.

Metro RTA

Levin Furniture

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


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
Ohio


Ohio Republicans aren't done changing voting laws yet
Closing primaries, cutting more hours, requiring photo ID all could be coming up in 2014
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JO INGLES


Reporter
Jo Ingles
 
Jon Husted referred about a dozen cases of potential voter fraud to prosecutors of 5.6 million votes cast in 2012.
Courtesy of FILE PHOTO
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

After the 2012 election, questions arose about voter fraud, accessibility and accountability. So, as expected, in 2013, many bills that addressed those issues were introduced in the Ohio Legislature. But as Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, few of them actually made it into law.

LISTEN: Ohio Republicans aren't done with voting law changes yet

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:07)


To understand the genesis of many election bills introduced this year, you need to remember what happened in 2012.

A contentious law that restricted times and ways Ohioans could vote was under the threat of repeal by voters. So the Republican-run Legislature took matters into its own hands and in an unusual way, repealed that law.

But they incorporated parts of that law into another new law that actually took effect. So Democrats went to court, winning a challenge over whether Ohioans could vote during the weekend before the election.

All of the controversy over voter restrictions or lack thereof fanned the flames of discontent by some who claimed voter fraud was a big problem in Ohio. So Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted looked into those claims and came out with a report early in the year that showed it wasn’t a big problem.

Voter fraud rare but there
“Frankly it concerns me with some of the hyperbole that would circulate around these issues that some of these unsubstantiated claims left unchecked would become conventional wisdom.”

Husted did find problems with about 135 votes of the 5.6 million votes cast. They were investigated and just over a dozen were referred to local prosecutors.

Shortly after Husted’s report, some Democrats came out with their own report that showed voter intimidation and suppression were a bigger problem in 2012. Democratic State Sen.Nina Turner of Cleveland – who is running for secretary of State -- said there were at least 680 incidents reported that could be considered voter suppression yet were not part of Husted’s voter report.

“They thought nobody would be paying attention but surprise, surprise.”

Minor parties face higher hurdles
Turner and other Democrats fought the voting changes that were added to the state’s budget. And some of those measures were removed. But a few passed, including one that reduces the number of voting machines county boards of election must purchase

The Republican majority also passed laws that allows state agencies to provide information to help maintain the voter registration database, authorizes electronic poll books and one that changes the rules for what minor parties must do to be recognized on the ballot.

Minor party candidates stood alongside many Democrats, such as Rep. Kathleen Clyde of Kent, in opposing this bill that they had nicknamed:

“The John Kasich re-election protection act,” they called it.

The sponsor of that legislation, Republican Sen. Bill Seitz, denied charges that the changes make it more difficult for minor parties to put their candidates on the ballot. And he insisted there was a good reason the Legislature passed it before the end of  2013.

“If you goof around with this too long, and you put something in effect and it doesn’t go into effect until March or April, they will trundle off to court and say you didn’t give us enough time.”

Looking ahead at closed primaries and other changes
So the Republican lawmakers passed the plan quickly.

It wasn’t long before Libertarians sued over it. And a Libertarian is considering a run against Republican Gov. Kasich this fall. One of the state’s tea party activists is considering a Republican primary challenge of Kasich, as well.

Democrats and others who don’t like some of the election law changes say they want to challenge them but, unlike in 2012 when lawmakers passed sweeping election laws that could be easily challenged, these new changes are being passed in piecemeal.

Catherine Turcer with Ohio Citizen Action says it’s a deliberate strategy. “In this case, it’s a little nibble here, a little nibble there and at the end of the day, it could make it more difficult, not easier for voters.”

So as 2014 starts, watch for debate over bills that have been introduced but not passed. Bill that would close Ohio’s primaries, do away with weekend voting the weekend before the election and require photo identification are on ripe for consideration -- and controversy. 

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

Ohio Republicans protest the loss of Mt. McKinley
I believe the U.S.gov't. was overstepping its bounds by renaming a mountain that belongs to Alaska. How would we like it if Alaska (or any other state) telling ...

Pluto: University of Akron cuts baseball - should football be next?
remember when akron and Youngstown state were both in the ovc. As a Morehead State fan, made trips to both schools and had a wonderful experience. Played Akron ...

Ohio to aid young adults who age out of foster care
I think it's a great idea. I worked for an at risk high school and it was really sad to see the amount of kids who had no where to go because they had aged out...

Could University Circle developments ripple into East Cleveland?
Outsiders are so far off the beaten path and you all need to attend the meeting being held today 8/31/15 Cleveland Public Library, 1:00 PM. http://44112news.co...

ResponsibleOhio leader says the state is trying to set Issue 3 up for failure
Ohio suppose to believe that a group of investors were united under one cause to legalize marijuana.Once legal they all of sudden turn into 10 different compani...

Terry Pluto: U of A's new athletic director has the toughest job in town
It is a hard sell. The Students do not want to go to the football games and they do not want to pay for the program. They have a lot of student loan debt and t...

Akron considering the future of the B.F. Goodrich smokestacks
This BFGoodrich alumna says, "Thank you, Dave Lieberth!"

State creates panel to look at Ohio charter school sponsors
It is more than disturbing that charter schools, which seemed like a good idea years ago, have begun to cripple public school education.

DEVO mural in Akron is now on display downtown
The installation is not at the former site of Chili Dog Mac. CDM was one block north on the other side of Main St.

New report shows growth in white collar jobs for Northeast Ohio
Unfortunately, there are fewer jobs in comparison to the number of professionals applying for them. I have been had a full time job since June 2012. In order to...

Copyright © 2015 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