“Voting in the wrong precinct led to over 14,000 registered voters statewide to lose their vote in 2008.”
— State Sen. Nina Turner
An elections reform bill approved in June by the Ohio Senate had plenty of troubling new provisions for critics of the proposal, namely Democrats.
The bill contained a number of changes to Ohio’s voting and election procedures, some of which may lead to voter suppression, opponents of House Bill 194 argued before the Republican-controlled Senate passed the bill along party lines.
For example, one provision added by the Ohio House barred poll workers from helping voters find their correct precinct for voting if they end up in the wrong place.
Current law mandates that poll workers direct voters to their correct voting location. That’s important because casting a ballot in the wrong place means your vote doesn’t count.
“Voting in the wrong precinct led to over 14,000 registered voters statewide to lose their vote in 2008,” state Sen Nina Turner, a Cleveland Democrat, said during a floor speech on June 22.
“But I guess the loss of votes for some doesn’t matter,” she sarcastically concluded, suggesting that Republicans were deliberately trying to suppress valid ballots in urban and impoverished areas of the state where mixing up precincts most often occurs.
It’s a powerful charge. And one can see Turner’s concern for those who are legitimately confused as to where they are suppose to vote. But Politifact Ohio wanted to know if there really were more than 14,000 ballots thrown out during the November 2008 elections — a presidential election, making it more significant — as she claimed.
You can see the full analysis there.