Stop voter suppression

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Mar 3, 2014

 

Early voting has proved two things in an abundantly clear way: More Ohio residents vote when voting hours are extended; and Republicans don't like that.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who is running for re-election on the fall ballot against Cuyahoga County Democrat Nina Turner, approved uniform hours for all 88 Ohio counties last month, eliminating evening hours and Sunday voting.

Husted cut Sunday voting completely and eliminated evening hours and five open days from the voting calendar. If Husted's order sticks, he will have successfully suppressed thousands of Democratic votes in Ohio's largest county, likely guaranteeing himself a win in November.

A leader in GOP-dominated Ohio Legislature for eight years before getting elected secretary of state, Husted's office is responsible for all election-related regulation. He is level-headed, thoughtful and articulate and has the ability to detail the reasonings for his positions in a powerful and persuasive way.

But not on this issue.

He was the water boy for the national GOP in 2012, working for Mitt Romney's campaign in a fervent effort to suppress Ohio's vote in Romney's favor. If it had worked, Husted probably would be in Romeny's cabinet if other efforts in other states to tilt the vote had worked.

Republicans have pushed voter suppression efforts for far too long, and it needs to stop.

They would be better served honing the appeal and focus on their ideas to craft legislation that can move the state forward. Republican lawmakers have success and a better appeal to voters when they choose that path.