None? None! NONE!? A new report released yesterday by two Statehouse Democrats suggests there was all sorts of voter “suppression” in Ohio in 2012, an obvious contrast with a report from May 23 released by Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted. That one said there wasn’t any. “Zero? That should’ve triggered a bell, and it did for us too. Zero? Something is wrong with that,” said state Sen. Nina Turner, one of the Democrats behind yesterday’s report. Turner will likely challenge Husted for his office in 2014. The report released by Turner and Democratic state Rep. Kathleen Clyde of Kent cites tens of thousands of instances of voter “suppression,” counting all 34,299 provisional ballots rejected, all 13,190 absentee ballots rejected, 2,188 complaints from Ohio Democratic volunteer attorneys on Election Day, and the 122 votes rejected in the Ohio House 98th District race won narrowly by a Republican.
In January, Husted asked all 88 county boards of elections to review all complaints of voter fraud and suppression from the presidential election in Ohio and determine the ones with merit. Last month he released the results from the county boards’ reviews, which showed 115 potential cases of fraud referred to law enforcement (135 total, counting 20 found by Husted’s office to have voted in two states), and no instances of suppression.
Yesterday the Democrats laid blame on Husted for having no citations of suppression in his report, even though the data came from the county boards of elections. They argued that poll-worker errors accounted for more than 12,000 provisional ballots rejected, and said 20,120 rejected ballots came because voters “allegedly” had not registered in Ohio.