Ohio Republicans must not think their political candidates can win a fair fight against Democrats. They’ve decided to rig the state’s election system in their favor, deliberately making voting harder for people who tend to vote Democratic, particularly minorities and the poor. After years of debate and litigation on this issue, Ohio lawmakers know full well that there is no history of electoral fraud in the state and no pattern of abuse by any voters or groups. The sole reason for a series of recently passed bills is that Ohio is a perennial swing state, and Republicans want to give themselves every possible advantage in sending party members to Congress later this year, and putting electoral votes in the Republican column in the 2016 presidential election.
That’s why Gov. John Kasich signed into law the following provisions:
■ Six days of early voting have been eliminated, and same-day registration will no longer be allowed on those days, during which more than 50,000 people voted in 2012. Blacks participated in early voting at a higher rate than whites.
■ Absentee voting will become much more difficult, because counties are barred from sending out ballot applications. Voters will have to answer a complicated set of questions for their absentee ballot to count, and they will have to pay their own postage. In 2012, 1.2 million people in Ohio voted absentee.
■ Provisional ballots, used when there is a question about a voter’s identity in a polling place, will undergo far greater scrutiny, and can be rejected for minute errors.
Almost immediately after the laws went into effect, the Republican secretary of state, Jon Husted, continued the assault by declaring that no early voting will be allowed on Sundays, aware that many black churches helped bring voters to the polls after Sunday services in 2012.
Full Article: Ohio Mistrusts Democracy – NYTimes.com.