Jon Husted Takes on Jennifer Brunner’s Voter Suppression
There is so much that annoys me about Secretary of State Jon Husted. But his campaign’s press release hits on an important issue that was dropped by Secretary Brunner’s office on Friday in hopes of reducing media fallout:
HUSTED RESPONDS TO 11th HOUR DIRECTIVE FROM SECRETARY OF STATE
Columbus, OH-State Senator Jon Husted (R-Kettering) issued the following statement today in response to a directive issued by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner late last week:
“Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has regrettably once again issued an 11th hour directive that misapplies the law, creates voter confusion and will disenfranchise thousands of Ohio voters.
“I call on Secretary Brunner to immediately rescind this directive that has no basis in law.
“With absentee voting to start on Tuesday, this last-minute directive will cost boards of elections both time and money and wrongly deny voters of both major political parties the right to have their voice heard in this primary election.
“In the case of a close election, it will no doubt serve as a basis for expensive litigation challenging the results of the election. It may unnecessarily lead to the kind of post-election chaos that undermines confidence in our elections.
“This action adds unnecessary bureaucracy and confusion to voting and undermines our local elections officials. Ohio’s Secretary of State should fight for the vote of all qualified electors and eliminate barriers to the operation of honest and fair elections.”
For the record:
According to Directive 2010-44, Ohio voters who want to switch political parties in the May 4 primary must be challenged and required to sign a form 10-Z saying they support a party’s principles. According to Brunner, these voters must complete the 10-Z form and return it in the return envelope and not the Identification Envelope or the Ballot Envelope for their vote to be counted. Under this directive, even voters who complete the form but mistakenly enclose it inside the Identification Envelope will have their votes discarded. There is nothing in state law that grants the Secretary of State this authority, nor is there any basis in law to disqualify a voter for failing to meet this arbitrary standard.
Further, the action recently taken by the Secretary of State against thousands of otherwise qualified and legitimately registered voters is contrary to her own standard established during the 2008 election.
In 2008, the Secretary of State issued the following instructions to county Boards of Elections governing challenges:
Directive 2008-100: Election Judges may not challenge an absent voter’s ballot based solely upon a SWVRS mismatch.
Directive 2008-99: Poll Workers may not challenge a voter based solely upon a SWVRS mismatch.
Advisory 2008-25: A Board of Elections cannot uphold a challenge of right to vote against a voter solely based upon being a defendant in a foreclosure action.
Summary of Key Objections:
1. Equal protection – those switching from Republican to Democrat or vice versa have a higher barrier to vote than those switching from Republican or Democrat to a minor party.
2. Abuse of discretion – the Secretary of State does not have the authority to set a higher standard for counting an absentee ballot than the standard established by state law (Directive 2010-44 instructs if the absent voter doesn’t return the challenge form or encloses the challenge form in the ID envelope the ballot may not be counted).
3. The law is clear that the determination to challenge or not lies solely with the election judges – not the Secretary of State or the county Board of Elections – and the government violates the law when it instructs election judges to challenge voters solely on the basis of previous party affiliation.
When I first saw Jennifer’s directive on Friday, my first thought was how terrible this is for my fellow Rush Limbaugh fans if they participated in “Operation Chaos” and voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Ohio primary.
But as we saw with the Steve Christopher for Attorney General campaign, Jennifer Brunner doesn’t care much for Republican voters anyway.
I guess since ACORN was booted out of Ohio for their criminal acititives, Brunner has to pick up their slack.
Maybe Republicans would have better luck registering their address as a local park bench?