Brunner Clarifies Voting Requirements
The Coalition sued Blackwell last year to assure that homeless people had a right to vote in the November election. Subodh Chandra and his legal team did a great job in getting clarification of the rules for the last election, but the case still goes on. We are hoping that the legislature will clarify the rules and strike down the ID requirements, but until then the Secretary of State issued a directive. We waited 10 months for Blackwell to explain the rules and he never got around to it. These new rules are basically the same as the settlement that we agreed to last year with the State of Ohio. Here is the link to the Secretary of State's statement clarifying the rules. The ID requirements were a stupid rule passed by a terrified Republican party to keep down Democratic turnout. So, while this stupid requirement for showing ID in order to vote is still the law of the land in Ohio, Brunner's directive is the best that we can do under the current law.
All of this touches on battles that are going on in Washington DC over the firing of the U.S. Attorneys. We keep hearing that the Bush Administration and specifically Karl Rove wanted all these U.S. Attorneys fighting "voter fraud" around the country. They keep talking about these mystery multiple voters, and massive registration fraud. State Rep. Kevin Coughlin had the same file of possible voting violations during the hearings held last year before the HB 3 ID rules were passed, and these were the same files that were being pushed on the U.S. Attorneys. These are all minor cases in which a person registers Michael Jordan or Mickey Mouse, but in nearly every case these made up voters do not show up to vote. There is not this huge wide spread conspiracy. There are isolated problems usually from voter confusion, and the U.S. Attorney's were right to resist moving on these issues. It is too bad the State of Ohio legislators did not resist the pressure to pass legislation over a problem that did not actually exist.
Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.