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
: 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
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 .