The Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (D) has been having a bit of a tiff with the Republican Party the last month or so. They keep insisting that too many people are wanting to do radical things like vote in the General Election. Unlike her predecessor, she keeps telling them that, well, that is allowed, even if the voters are probably Democrats. So the two sides went to court until the US Supreme Court said the GOP was not actually allowed to go to court over the issue.
Since they were not allowed to bring suit, the GOP decided to pull out the big guns. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) asked President Bush and the Department of Justice to investigate, saying that otherwise “there is a significant risk if not a certainty, that unlawful votes will be cast and counted.” He is correct to a certain extent, there will be unlawful votes cast and counted in the upcoming election.
But that will happen no matter what is done. Expecting that out of the millions of votes that will be cast in Ohio all of them are legal and that nobody in the entire state is trying to vote illegally is naive. But trying to say that there will be enough illegal votes cast to have any kind of affect on the outcome of the race is disingenuous. Increasing the work loads of the various county Boards of Elections and the poll workers (and since I have volunteered to be a poll worker, this has a direct effect on me) along with the possible disenfranchisement of thousands of legal voters, makes this a very bad thing in my opinion.
There is good news for people wanting to vote in Ohio. As reported in the New York Times, the Justice Department will not be pursuing any litigation before the November 4 election. They do not way what will happen after November 4 (If I were a conspiracy theorist I would worry about that.) but at least this should end the court battles for a week or so. Not that it will stop the GOP from innuendo and other attacks.
Speaking of GOP attacks, TPMMuckraker has a listing of what is going on around the country with regards to attempts to suppress or intimidate voters. I do not see any Democratic organizations trying to do any of the suppression. But the only Republican that seems to be making it easier for people to vote is Charlie Crist, the governor of Florida. He is supported by some of the state Republicans, although some of them just seem to realize that trying to fight his move would not be a very good idea politically.
The two stories that bother me the most are the ones from New Mexico and Colorado. The New Mexico story because these are new citizens, exercising their rights and getting intimidating visits because of it. Welcoming new citizens, and giving them the same rights as those born here is one of the foundations of our society. I don’t like it when that is threatened. The Colorado story bothers me because it is somewhat like what happened in Ohio in 2004. A Republican Secretary of State making decisions that constantly take away the opportunity of people to express themselves in the voting booth.