Ohio the Center of the Political Universe

NEOCH and SEIU had a victory this week in the court case regarding the counting of provisional ballots.  We have a write up on our Homeless Voting blog here.  This issue was reported in every paper in Ohio and nearly every national paper, because Ohio is so critical for this upcoming Presidential election.  There are racist, offensive billboards springing up in African American neighborhoods.  Our airwaves are clogged of political ads, and groups are working to challenge voters ability to vote.   This is what living in one of six swing states during a Presidential election.

There was a story on the front page on the Washington Page site regarding the Obama campaign lawsuit against the State of Ohio to keep the polling places open on the weekend before the election.  The case was appealed to the US Supreme Court and we hope that they will make their decision quickly so that we can make plans for these next three weeks.  NEOCH is transporting homeless and low income people to the Board of Election to vote early.   We are working to provide a ride to every shelter in Cleveland to encourage homeless people to vote early when they will not be pestered about identification.  

In another blow to getting every legitimate voter to cast a ballot that actually gets counted, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has ruled that County Boards of Elections cannot send an e-mail out to a voter to say that their vote by mail ballot envelope was messed up.   These are voters who listed their phone or e-mail address (volunteering this information) so obviously do not mind being contacted by phone or e-mail.   The Secretary has said that the local boards can only send mail to the voters to have them correct the envelope.  This does not make any sense.  We live in an age when people can receive information on their cell phone, and yet our Secretary of State is preventing the Boards from using all the tools at their disposal to contact voters to correct an error so that their ballot will count.  Every decision, every action is amplified, and everything is in conflict in a swing state during the election season.

Brian Davis

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