Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Best Judge in Ohio

Federal Judge O'Malley Strikes Down Registration Rules

Federal judge Kathleen O'Malley proves once again why she is one of the best judges in the state of Ohio with her decision to strike down the new Ohio registration rules. O'Malley was the federal judge who sided with the Grapevine in our fight with Mayor Michael White who wanted us to get a city issued license to sell the street newspaper. She was overturned by the conservative 6th Circuit Appeals Court, but she was correct in the Grapevine case and now with the voting rules.

Our friend, Rev. Tony Minor and the NAACP filed suit to overturn this horrible new requirement to suppress voting registration activities. NEOCH had stopped registering people because the rules were so complicated and confusing. We thank O'Malley for throwing out these horrible rules. It raises the question about all the state legislators who should have listened to the League of Women Voters and all the other experts. Earlier this year, groups from all over the state came to Columbus to testify against this horrible piece of legislation (HB 3) to largely empty conference rooms. They should have listened, because we were correct. This law is now under fire for disenfranchising immigrants, the registration rules were thrown out, and Secretary of State is constantly misrepresenting the rules. The ID provision has confused County election boards, and will certainly be challenged after this part of the law messes up the November election. They "fixed" the irregularities and the lack of polling places in 2004 by blowing apart the whole system.

State legislators addressed a problem that did not exist in the face of the real problems with the 2004 election. They messed up the registration and voting regulations so that fewer people will cast a ballot. It is no wonder that most of the population holds politicians in such low regard, and most do not trust government. Voting, as the cornerstone of democracy, needs repair in Ohio. Where are you Jimmy Carter?

Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

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