Obama Campaigns Intervenes on Early Voting Hours

The Obama campaign and the Democrats have sued the State of Ohio over the hours the polling places will be open for early voting. .  This is great news, but why does every thing have to be so political in allowing people to vote?  There is no way for non-partisan groups like NEOCH to push an agenda that homeless individuals in our society will have the opportunity to vote without looking as though we are siding with one political party.  It is hard for the League of Women Voters, COHHIO or other groups to not appear as fronts for the Democratic Party.  There is no middle ground with groups that just want to figure out how to get as many people as possible to vote, and make that fundamental right of a functioning democracy as easy as possible. 

The issue is that voters will be treated differently in Ohio with veterans allowed to vote early in person while others will not be able to cast in person ballots on the last weekend before the election.  This was passed in 2011 as part of the Ohio legislatures attempt to change voting procedures.  Left leaning groups and voting groups opposed these changes and were able to get enough signatures to allow these changes to go before voters.  The state withdrew part of the legislation, but kept the requirement that Boards of Elections close the weekend before the election.  The Ohio legislature withdrew part of the changes, but not this restriction on weekend voting, and that nullified the ballot issue.  We believe that we should have been able to vote on the changes to voting to show the Ohio legislature that there is strong support for allowing every eligible voter to cast a ballot.  The Ohio Secretary of State was on WKSU yesterday saying that there is a lot of disparities between veterans and oversees voters and other voters, and reminded citizens that this was the third election that has been operated under these new rules.  One was a low turnout primary in March 2012.  One was an August 2011 local election, and the November 2011 election with the big issue being the overturning of the restriction on unions.  None of these elections come even close to the voter turnout of a Presidential election when we need extra hours to vote.  It is unfair that there is a disparity between one group of voters and others, and the court should force the state to standardize voting with the more access the better for all voters. 

Finally, why does the Plain Dealer allow anonymous comments on Cleveland.com?  They do not allow anonymous letters to the editor, so why a different standard on the website?   There is so much hate and myths being forwarded on the site.  The only positive is that it does demonstrate why we can never allow the Bill of Rights to be up for a popular vote.  "Freedom of speech is not free, so let's get rid of it, etc."  I am not sure if it is just the people who want to limit rights or those who are not big fans of minority populations in America are the individuals who comment on the site.  Or could it be that because of the anonymity on the site people say whatever they want?  I was thinking what would the comments section look like if they had figured out a way to have an easily accessible anonymous section of a newspaper in the United States of 1910 especially in stories about voting in the South and West.  Here is how I imagine these comments would look in 1910:

Right2opinion said:

If you can't take the time to learn to read the Constitution that you reference as the basis for your rights then why should we give you the right to vote for the government who are going to govern all of us?  I  don't think people of lower intelligence should be able to pick our Mayor or Governor. They would just mess up this fragile democracy.

Stockfella would have said:

It only makes sense to have to pay a tax to vote.  It costs money for government to run these elections why shouldn't you have to pay?  It is a small amount of money, and if you really value voting, you will figure out a way to pay.

richman2 would have probably commented:

The rule is simple "Any person kept in a poorhouse at public expense cannot vote."  You have to be an idiot to claim that a person being supported by my taxes deserves the right to vote.  We could have poor people electing a county sheriff who would refuse to arrest them for being a deadbeat.

BlackSquirrl would most likely add to the discussion:

It is common sense to limit voting to the best and the brightest in our society.  This is why we require a person's race be written on each ballot so we can kick out questionable ballots. This is why we allow only those who own property to vote.  C'mon, we cannot allow people living on a reservation to vote.  This is the dumbest thing ever printed.  If those people want a separate society, then how can they expect to vote on local tax or local regulations? 

These comments on the voting rights articles over the last week on Cleveland.com do not forward the argument.  They do nothing to change opinions.  They are full of conspiracy theories and false logic.  They are not well thought out pros and cons on an issue and do not provide additional information on the story. They would be ruled out of bounds in a debate for the most part.   They are spin and hate, and the Plain Dealer should not provide a venue for false statements and ad homonym attacks. 

Brian Davis

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