Thousands of Ohioans got their voting rights restored for the 2016 election Wednesday night through a federal judge’s ruling. But Judge George C. Smith of U.S. District Court in Columbus acknowledged that his attempt to remedy what he said was Secretary of State Jon Husted’s illegal purging of many Ohioans from the state’s roll of eligible voters still will leave some eligible voters on the sidelines. “There is no dispute that the remedy ordered by this court will not involve the reinstatement of all voters who have been removed from the voter registration rolls,” Smith wrote in a 22-page decision on a lawsuit brought by the A. Phillip Randolph Institute, ACLU and Ohio Democratic Party against Husted. The two sides differed on how many Ohioans would be impacted by the ruling. A spokeswoman for the Democratic Party said potentially tens of thousands could be affected. A Husted spokesman said he doubted it would be that high.
Articles about voting issues in Ohio.
Ohio: Voters improperly removed from rolls can vote in November election, court rules | Cleveland Plain Dealer
Ohio voters who were improperly removed from the rolls after not casting a ballot for several years will be allowed to vote in the November general election. A federal appellate court ruled last month that Ohio’s practice of occasionally canceling voter registrations after six years of inactivity was illegal. A U.S. District Court decision issued Wednesday night mandates that voters purged since Jan. 1, 2011 be allowed to cast provisional ballots. Ballots will count if the voter lives in the same county as they were registered in. Secretary of State Jon Husted had asked the court to allow provisional voting for voters pulled from the rolls in 2015. Voter rights advocates who had filed the lawsuit asked for ballots to be counted for voters removed in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Husted said Wednesday that his office will fully comply with the judge’s order and continue focusing on administering a smooth election. “Our main concern was to protect the integrity of the election by not having to reinstate deceased voters, those who moved out of state, or are otherwise ineligible,” Husted said in a statement.
The state’s governor and top election official both took to morning TV today to sharply dispute GOP nominee Donald Trump’s claim that the 2016 presidential election is “rigged,” with both saying that the system of collecting and counting ballots is better than it’s ever been. “To say that the elections are rigged and all these votes are stolen — that’s like saying we never landed on the moon,” Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, said on CBS “This Morning.” He added that such accusations are “silly,” and “I don’t think it’s good for our democracy.” Speaking on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, also a Republican, said the system in America and in Ohio “is more secure than it’s ever been.” He said he was worried that people will lose faith in democracy because of these accusations.
Ohio: Jon Husted says voting is safe in Ohio despite talk of rigged election | The Columbus Dispatch
Even as Republican Donald Trump warns of “large-scale voter fraud,” analysts say it would be nearly impossible in Ohio for one political party to steal the outcome election from another. The elections and the vote counting in Ohio are conducted by bipartisan boards of elections in the state’s 88 counties, meaning only an improbable alliance and virtually impossible to keep secret between Democrats and Republicans in all 88 counties could change the election. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, said the system of elections in place is “ actually more secure than it’s ever been in our nation’s history.” He said Ohio’s system is transparent, includes extensive checks and balances and has a verified voter paper trail for every vote. At the same time, the election rolls are “cleaner and more up to date than they’ve ever been.”
Ohio: Secretary of State proposes that voters culled from voting rolls in 2015 be allowed to vote in November’s general election | Cleveland Plain Dealer
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has proposed that voters who were purged from the state’s voter rolls in 2015 be allowed to vote in the 2016 election using provisional ballots. Husted’s proposal, part of a motion filed with U.S. District Court in Columbus, is in response to a recent U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the system Ohio was using to clear some inactive voters off the voting lists violated federal laws. In its ruling Sept. 23, the appellate court said the system, which was triggered when an inactive voter missed two years of elections, violated federal provisions which barred the culling of voter rolls solely because a person had not voted regularly. The proposal from the state Thursday would not resolve the entire case. But it would resolve how to handle voters for this November’s election. The plaintiffs in the case, A. Philip Randolph Institute, American Civil Liberties Union Ohio and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, will have a chance to respond to the proposal.
Move over, Snopes, there’s a new conspiracy theory debunker on the case. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted issued a press release Tuesday refuting an online article claiming “tens of thousands” of Hillary Clinton ballots were found in a Franklin County warehouse. The article, published Sept. 30 by Christian Times Newspaper, featured a photo of boxes allegedly full of Clinton ballots. Actually,the photo was taken in 2015 during the U.K. election. The article stated the “likely goal was to slip the fake ballot boxes in with the real ballot boxes when they went to official election judges on November 8th.”
The news release said, “Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced his office will begin mailing absentee ballot applications to voters statewide this weekend.” What it didn’t say was that more than a million of Ohio’s 7.7 million registered voters wouldn’t get the mailing, because Husted’s office had pared the list beforehand. The 1,035,795 voters left out fall into two categories:
• 650,730 who have changed their address. This includes 568,456 who moved within Ohio; they were sent cards asking them to update their address. The 82,274 who moved out of state were mailed information on how to cancel their Ohio registration.
• 385,065 who did not vote in either the 2012 or 2014 elections and have not responded to queries about their address from their county board of elections.
Imagine using a computer that’s more than a decade old. That’s what Butler and Warren county voters are doing, which is why there’s a statewide push to replace the older machines before the 2020 presidential election. Some of these are simple paper ballot scanners, such as Warren County’s 184 machines. Butler County has 1,600 electronic voting machines that record a voter’s ballot to a unique card inserted into the machine. To help solve this issue of aging voting equipment, the state is looking at providing upwards of $115 million to $150 million in funding to the county boards of elections, which likely would pay for at least half of their costs, said Aaron Ockerman, the executive director for the Ohio Association of Election Officials. “It’s a real opportunity for the state and the local governments to solve a problem,” Ockerman said.
The battle over voting rights in Ohio rages on with a new federal appeal challenging state laws enacted by the GOP-dominated legislature in 2014 and signed by Republican Gov. John Kasich. A group that includes the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and Ohio Democratic Party wants the full 15-judge 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to consider a decision earlier this by month by a three-judge panel of the appellate court. The case “involves a question of exceptional importance that will impact the upcoming presidential election,” the group told the appeals court. The panel’s ruling also conflicts with other court rulings, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore that settled the 2000 presidential election. The three-judge panel that largely left the GOP laws intact divided along party and racial lines, with two whites appointed by Republican presidents in the majority and a black picked by a Democrat issuing a withering dissent.
Ohio: Secretary of State Jon Husted wants feds to butt out on running state elections | Cleveland Plain Dealer
Secretary of State Jon Husted said cyber attackers would have a hard time disrupting Ohio’s elections but expressed concern about what the federal government could do if it took over the state’s election computer systems. Husted, the state’s chief elections officer, wrote to congressional leaders Thursday asking that the House and Senate make clear that federal agencies cannot involve themselves in the election process. The letter was prompted by comments from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson that his department would review whether state election systems should be considered as “critical infrastructure” under the Homeland Security Act of 2002. Such a designation would give the federal government ability to step in to protect those systems.