Saturday, November 10, 2012

Why Husted and His Acts in Ohio Are Critical to Your Voting Rights In Every State

Many people are commenting about Voter ID, showing an ID to get a driver's license, etc.
This is only one of the most serious issues regarding voting rights--now and in the future.

Equally, perhaps more important, is the issue regarding Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, and the actions that he took at 7 p.m. on the Friday night before Election Day.

These were very serious--and very, very clear:

Husted, the Republican Sec. of State of Ohio, and prior to this, an active opponent of voting rights, made an illegal, non-statutory change to Ohio's voting laws on that Friday evening.

The change was designed to put hundreds of thousands of votes under the direct decision making authority of Husted--to either retain them, or throw them away.

The change--according to the Federal Judge who reviewed his actions--was illegal. Nowhere to be found in Ohio law.

The change was this:

1) Ohio law requires that every provisional ballot be completed and reviewed by Ohio poll workers. This is to ensure that there are no errors--so the ballot cannot later be reviewed by Husted and thrown out, as we saw in Bush v. Gore, on the basis of some supposed "mistake".

2) Husted, after state offices had closed on the Friday before the election, changed this.
He illegally placed the burden on voters to review the provisional ballots.

3) He did this so late because his non-statutory change would then not be able to be reviewed until after the election had occurred--which, he hoped, would be too late.

4) In 2008, there were 262,000 provisional ballots. Husted's purpose in making this change was to create a multi-hundred-thousand pool of votes that he would have the power to either keep, or to cast aside.

5) Had the election come down to Ohio, as many believed up until election day, this illegal tactic could have stolen the state, and therefore the election.

6) The day after the election, Husted's attorney was forced to appear before a Federal Judge. The judge found no legal basis for the change Husted had made--either anywhere in the statute or in its legislative history.

The judge asked Husted's attorney to point to any such language--either anywhere in the law, or in its penumbra (its legislative history).

He could not.


The judge's conclusion. There was no legal basis for Husted's change.

Specifically, to quote the judge: "Democracy dies in the dark."

7) This was an unabashed attempt at the theft of hundreds of thousands of votes to attempt to steal an election for President.

It was only the determined will of the people, which prevented Ohio from being decisive, which prevented this.

8) Karl Rove's desperate grasping on the night of the election was founded on the belief that these provisional ballots--as they had for his candidate in 2000--would be present to swing the election. Thanks to the electorate, which came out in overwhelming numbers to overcome this attempt at theft, they could not.

The absurd irony that those responsible for the protection of our votes are those often most willing to corrupt them is an issue which must be changed.

This could occur in any state.

Vote out Husted and his ilk--those most responsible for our votes, and most willing to make a partisan effort to suppress them.

Photo via AP via Westchester Buzz: