Today, the Justice Department said that they were going to challenge recent changes to the election procedures and election law in Ohio. This is welcome news and long overdue. There is no reason for the loss of "Golden Week" except to keep poor people from voting. Golden week allowed homeless people to vote and change their registration at the same time. There were 30 days before the election to verify the information and little chance of fraud. The Justice Department is also filing a brief opposed to the Wisconsin voter ID law.
The reduction in the number of hours available to not include evening and weekend hours can only be seen as racist or class-ist or both. One federal court has already forced the state to open on the weekend before the election because that is when people want to vote. Hundreds of thousands of citizens vote in the evening and weekend, so why not make it easier for them? Why not allow big counties to have extended hours because this is what taxpayers desire. Cuyahoga County has a harder time getting the half million potential voters into the limited space of the Board of Elections when compared to Lake, Erie or Portage Counties. Some of the other myths about this voting issue in Ohio are:
1. Democrats voted against the original 2005 legislation which expanded early voting. FALSE! Democrats voted against the voting legislation in 2005 for a variety of reasons that had nothing to do with early voting. There were a number of poison pills in the legislation including the ID provision that all were litigated. There were some good things like expanded early voting, but overall it was a harmful bill that restricted access to the ballot box. We could have used the Justice Department to step in and shut down the law in 2005.
2. Most surrounding states have less time to vote--so what! Ohio tax payers have been voting in the evening and on the weekend for nearly a decade in large numbers. Government should give the people what they want. We should serve the needs of the people and not make the people serve the needs of government. This should be a bipartician position that government should work for the people and should be available when people want to vote.
3. If they do not like the hours then just vote by mail. There are so many older individuals who do not believe that voting should be done by mail. They do not trust it and they do not believe that this is true voting. They don't like figuring out the postage, and they want some professional to help them complete the form so that their ballot will count. Again, give the people what they want--plenty of early in person voting!
4. Why is voting so polarizing in America? The comments on the bottom of these articles in the newspapers are so hateful toward lower income people who seem to have pulled off a fraud in voting in a sympathetic President twice. It just seems like there is an element of racism in restricting access to the ballot box, and we welcome the Justice Department into the state to fight this racism.
By the way, we have placed the voting button on many pages on our webpage that you can click on the button to go directly to our voting section. Or you can do a search on voting on any of our pages. We have update everything in our voting section for the upcoming election including voting hours.
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