By Tom Blumer | For Ohio Watchdog
The 2014 race for Ohio Secretary of State is shaping up as a quintessential “lesser of two evils” contest.
Those who wish to see Ohio return to a relatively fraud-proof, tamper-proof elections process — something the state had until late 2005, when a Republican General Assembly passed legislation allowing early voting and no-excuses absentee balloting — will find little to cheer about in either candidate.
It’s unlikely that Turner or Husted will face primary challenges, or that a credible third-party general-election contender will appear.
Turner says some of the right words, but it takes easy research to determine she has very little concern for ensuring ballot integrity. She claims that she wants Ohio to be “the gold standard for elections,” but tarnishes the idea with nonsense like this:
“… it doesn’t matter … who you are or where you live, you will have unfettered access to the ballot.”
Sorry, Turner. For starters, it does matter where you live. It would be nice to know that people who vote in Ohio actually live where they say they do. It’s clear election officials don’t always know that.
In the 2012 general election in Hamilton County, 47 registered voters claimed to possess the magical ability to squeeze themselves into the post office boxes where they said they “lived” when they go to bed each night. At least three of them actually lived “out of state or out of county.” Of course, these are the people who were caught. It’s very likely that many other registered voters cast their ballots in a precinct other than the one where they really lived, improperly affecting the vote counts in numerous local contests.
Despite many scandalous examples, Turner insists on having the most permissive voting regime possible.
Demonstrating the fundamental bankruptcy of her arguments, she smears as a bigot anyone who might dare believe otherwise and make even modest attempts at proper electoral oversight, as the following quotes among many gathered at Ohio MediaTrackers from just a few of Turner’s multiple appearances last year on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” illustrate:
“It is absolutely shameful that Jim Crow has been resurrected in this country, particularly in the state of Ohio.”
“The state of Ohio has become the new South, and not in a good way … some of my Republican colleagues have chosen to wear a blue suit over a white sheet in the 21st century.”
“(I)f you are poor, working class, middle class, elderly, African-American, Hispanic, or a woman, you are S.O.L. when it comes to Republicans. They are making it very clear that they don’t care — they are here to oppress and suppress, and they don’t care how they steal the vote.”
Turner wasted hours on a 15-page “report” alleging that tens of thousands of Ohioans had their votes “suppressed” last year, and has called Jon Husted the “Secretary of Suppression.” He most definitely is not.
Despite his post-election enforcement posture early this year and his unsuccessful attempt to impose a common-sense early voting deadline a few days before Election Day last year, Husted also has been far too permissive.
After declaring his support for a voter-ID requirement at the polls to fend off a tea party-backed challenger during his 2010 Republican primary campaign, Husted did a complete about-face, and successfully pushed to keep it out of related legislation during his very first year in office.
In 2012, he sent out absentee ballot requests to each of Ohio’s more than 6 million active registered voters, despite the obvious temptations they presented for those wishing to create fraudulent and coerced votes. In Florida, one congressman’s chief of staff plotted to obtain absentee requests in others’ names. In the Buckeye State, all he would have had to do is obtain them from fellow partisans.
Husted clearly is far more afraid of negative attention from the left, which he has received anyway, than he is of doing his job, which is to ensure that the balloting in his state is conducted cleanly and fairly.
If ever there was a situation where a “none of the above” ballot choice deserves to win, Ohio’s 2014 secretary of state race would be it.
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