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Report on 2012 Voter Supression in Ohio

Report on 2012 Voter Supression in Ohio

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Published by HouseDemComm
Report on 2012 Voter Supression in Ohio
Report on 2012 Voter Supression in Ohio

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Published by: HouseDemComm on Jun 05, 2013
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Voter Suppression in Ohioin the November 2012 Election
A Report by State Senator Nina Turner andState Representative Kathleen Clyde
June 5, 2013
On May 23, 2013, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted released a report indicating that
there were 625 “irregularities” during the 2012 general election in Ohio and 135 of them
were referred to prosecutors to determine if prosecution should occur. The Secretaryreported that there were no instances of voter suppression that took place during the2012 general election. On May 30, Secretary Husted ordered
the Hamilton CountyBoard of Elections to refer three dozen voters who obeyed the election laws
and theinstructions of election officials to the county prosecutor for so-called voter fraud. Inresponse to
the Secretary’s
assertion that voter suppression did not exist in the 2012
election and to the Secretary’s attack on voters who did no wrong and followed
thelaw when voting, State Senator Nina Turner and State Representative Kathleen Clydecompiled this report documenting irregularities that suggest voter suppression did infact take place and on a much wider scale than so-called voter fraud. The reportdefines voter suppression and provides examples of suppression that took place in the2012 general election.
Voter Suppression Defined
What is voter suppression? Many people
say that voter suppression doesn’t happen
anymore because
they don’t see
Bull Connor on the news with attack dogs scaringpeople away from the po
lls or we don’t have an official policy called a “
poll tax
 anymore. Even though the headlines are flush with stories of new restrictive voter laws,many deny the existence of voter suppression.
Voter Suppression is:
-Discouraging people from voting-Denying voters their ballot-Throwing out votes on technicalities
The Akron Beacon Journal editorial page provided some guidance last week as towhat modern day voter suppression might look 
like. “…[V]oter suppression belongs in a
larger context than whether there were instances of individual voters barred fromvoting. A full examination must weigh whether the system as a whole provides sufficientaccess. In that light, Ohio still has a way to go, some voters last fall waiting for hours to
Secretary Husted
s Tie Vote decision in Hamilton County referral to prosecutors:http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/elections/tievotes/2013/2013-05-30-Hamilton.pdf  
Ohio law provides that a voter who has requested or cast an absentee ballot may cast a provisional ballot onelection day in case the absentee ballot does not arrive or is defective.
If a registered elector appears to vote inthat precinct and that elector has requested an absent voter's ballot for that election and the director has receiveda sealed identification envelope purporting to contain that elector's voted absent voter's ballots for that election,the elector shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot under section3505.181of the Revised Code in thatprecinct on the day of that election.
ORC 3509.09.
cast a ballot. It is hard to know how many went home, or how many never showed up,
discouraged somehow by the process.”
 The new voter suppression is discouraging voters so that they never show up to vote,making voting harder for those that do show up so that voters give up and get out ofline, and inventing new ways and reasons to throw out the votes of those who stick itout and actually cast a ballot. In 1980, GOP strategist Paul Weyrich said at a trainingsession, "I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of thepeople. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are notnow. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as thevoting populace goes down." That sentiment appears to underlie the actions of
today’s GOP
: Decrease voter participation to increase GOP electoral success. Whilenot many will state their purpose as clearly as Paul Weyrich, the GOP claim that they
seek only “election security”
by restricting voting rings false.For the purposes of this report, voter suppression refers to 1) discouraging people fromvoting
, 2) denying voters their ballot, and 3) throwing out votes that don’t meet overly
technical requirements for counting.Voter suppression can be achieved by complicating the process of voting, creatingstrict technical rules for counting votes, and creating a culture of intimidation and fear around voting using threats of prosecution even when following the law or for accidentally running afoul of complex rules. Voter suppression can happen to peopleat home, on their way to work, and at the polls. Voter suppression can be inflicted bypartisan operators as well as by poll workers and election officials.Both the Secretary of State and county election officials have the duty to investigateirregularities such as voter suppression.
When votes are not counted because pollworkers are not doing their job, there must be an investigation. Unfortunately, theSecretary of State has chosen to point fingers only at voters when any problem hasoccurred and has refused to look at his own operations.
On the following pages are
reports of voter suppression that were compiled by persons other than Ohio’s Secretary
of State.
Vote Count, May 25, 2013, Akron Beacon Journal, http://www.ohio.com/editorial/editorials/vote-count-1.400763. 
The Secretary of State shall “investigate the administration of e
lection laws, frauds, and irregularities in electionsin any county, and report violations of election laws to the attorney general or prosecuting attorney, or both, for
prosecution.” ORC 3501.05(N)(1). The county boards of elections have a duty to “[i]n
vestigate irregularities,nonperformance of duties, or violations of Title XXXV of the Revised Code by election officers and other persons;administer oaths, issue subpoenas, summon witnesses, and compel the production of books, papers, records, andother evidence in connection with any such investigation; and report the facts to the prosecuting attorney or the
secretary of state.ORC 3501.11(J).
The Secretary of State’s
directive 2013-01 instructed county officials to investigate irregularities and non-performance of duties, yet no reports were made of any investigations into election officials not performing theirduties, despite ample evidence that many duties were ignored, such as ensuring voters properly completed theirprovisional ballot paperwork or voted in the correct location. Directive 2013-1:http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/Upload/elections/directives/2013/Dir2013-01.pdf . 

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