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.”Full Article: Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted slams voter fraud conspiracy article | cleveland.com.
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.Full Article: Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted wants feds to butt out on running state elections | cleveland.com.
The groups trying to undo the state’s purge of tens of thousands of Ohioans from voter rolls because of failing to vote or confirm home addresses have a powerful new ally in their court fight — the U.S. Justice Department. The legal battle erupted in April when the Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless filed suit in federal court in Columbus. It challenged Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s move to revoke the registrations of an unspecified number of residents because they didn’t respond to address verification requests or hadn’t voted in four years. U.S. District Judge George Smith upheld Husted’s actions on June 29. The plaintiffs, who are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the public policy group Demos, appealed to the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.Full Article: Feds Join Suit Over Ohio Voter Registration Purge | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog | Cleveland Scene.
Ohio: As the GOP Convention Begins, Ohio Is Purging Tens of Thousands of Democratic Voters | The Nation
Larry Harmon, a 59-year-old software engineer and Navy vet, went the polls in 2015 in his hometown of Kent, Ohio, to vote on a state ballot initiative. But poll workers told him he was no longer registered and could not vote. “I felt embarrassed and stupid at the time,” Harmon told Reuters. “The more I think about it, the madder I am,” he said. Harmon voted for Barack Obama in 2008 but had not returned to vote until 2015. He later learned that he was purged from the rolls in Ohio for “infrequent voting” because he had not voted in a six-year period, even though he hadn’t moved or done anything to change his registration status. The same thing is now happening to tens of thousands of voters across the state. The fear is that voters who cast ballots in 2008 but have not participated since, particularly first-time voters for Obama, will show up in 2016 to find that they are no longer registered. Ohio has purged more voters over a 5-year period than any other state.Full Article: As the GOP Convention Begins, Ohio Is Purging Tens of Thousands of Democratic Voters | The Nation.
Secretary of State Jon Husted is not illegally removing voters from voter registration rolls, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio filed suit in April arguing Husted was too aggressive in his efforts to clean-up voter rolls in an effort to keep the list updated. In recent years, Husted’s office has removed 465,000 deceased voters and 1.3 million duplicate registrations from Ohio’s voter rolls. The ACLU argued Husted violated the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 by canceling the registrations of those who do not update their registrations or vote over six years, including three federal general elections. Voters also are sent a confirmation notice. But U.S. District Judge George C. Smith said Ohio’s process is consistent with the Registration Act because voters are never removed from the rolls solely for failure to vote.Full Article: Secretary of State Jon Husted wins election suit | The Columbus Dispatch.
Ohio: Voting rights activists say election lawsuit claiming Jon Husted illegally purged voters is not over | Cleveland Plain Dealer
A day after Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted scored a win in federal court, voting rights activists say the case is not over. The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, the Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless sued Husted in April, arguing the practice of removing voters who are inactive over six years violated the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also called the “Motor Voter” law. U.S. District Judge George C. Smith disagreed, saying Ohio’s method Ohio’s process is consistent with federal laws because voters are not removed solely for not voting. “The court finds that the public interest is being served by Ohio’s voter maintenance procedures and will continue to be served as long as Ohio continues to operate in compliance with the NVRA,” Smith wrote.Full Article: Voting rights activists say election lawsuit claiming Jon Husted illegally purged voters is not over | cleveland.com.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today contacted the Voter Participation Center in Washington D.C. to make them aware of a number of recurring errors surrounding the group’s voter registration drive. Both the Secretary of State’s Office and Boards of Election across Ohio have reported an unusually high number of voter complaints regarding the effort, which is attempting to contact unregistered individuals via U.S. Mail with a voter registration form. Ohioans have reported the registration mailing being addressed to family pets as well as to those who will not yet be 18 before the November 2016 General Election. The Voter Participation Center’s mailing has also commonly been ad- dressed to people who do not live in Ohio as well as citizens who are deceased.Full Article: The Clermont Sun » Husted warns election officials of error-laden voter registration drive.
Between 1.5 million and 2.3 million Ohioans are eligible to vote but can’t because they are not registered. Secretary of State Jon Husted is going after every one of them, hoping to sign them up in this presidential election year. An estimated 80,000 already on Ohio’s voter registration rolls are also registered in other states, while 360,000 need to update their registration because they’ve moved within Ohio. Husted is going after every one of them, too. Unless they fix their registration they will either be forced to cast a provisional ballot or be purged from the list. Fueled by a $400,000 grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts, Ohio is joining the Electronic Registration Information Center, a nonprofit group that includes 20 states. So in the end, will the effort generate more or fewer registered voters in Ohio? “That’s the $64,000 question,” said David Becker, Pew’s director of election initiatives, who attended a Statehouse news conference Tuesday with Husted. Becker said that when other states signed up with ERIC, the twin efforts to register new voters and purge those ineligible essentially wound up canceling each other out.Full Article: Husted's office to reach out to eligible voters who aren't registered | The Columbus Dispatch.
Betsy Heer spent her birthday in November 2004 standing in a cold rain, waiting 10½ hours to vote. She’s runs a bed-and-breakfast in the tiny town of Gambier, Ohio. Many of the 1,300 people who joined her in line were students at Kenyon College. “So yeah, it was exhausting and it was exciting and it was frustrating and it was all those things. But it definitely was democracy in action.” And in nearly every election since, Heer has opted instead to vote early. The reason she can is an overhaul of Ohio’s early voting laws spurred by what one judge called the “disastrous” 2004 election. The changes helped make election days smooth. But they’ve also created cycle of laws and lawsuits that make courts in Ohio a big player in the national debate over voter access. “They know how to ski in Colorado, we know how to litigate elections in Ohio,” laughs Ned Foley, director of Ohio State University’s election-law program. He notes that the fights in Ohio include one that’s been dragging on for a decade. There are battles over rejected ballots and efforts to eliminate “Souls to the Polls” Sunday. Over purging voter rolls and eliminating same-day registration-and-voting.Full Article: When It Comes to Voting-Rights Disputes, Ohio is No. 1. Why? | WKSU.
With the vocal support of GOP legislative leaders Wednesday, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted appealed the latest of two voting rights rulings against the state, blaming them for creating “ chaos and voter confusion.” “Unfortunately, in the time span of just two weeks, the integrity of our elections has been jeopardized as two federal judges have issued decisions that directly conflict with each other and put our elections process in limbo with no clear path forward absent a clear ruling from the appellate court,” Husted said. Democrats who won both court cases say if the Republicans want someone to blame for “chaos” in Ohio’s voting laws, they should look in the mirror. “Their handiwork continues to violate the Constitution — that’s where the chaos and confusion comes from,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “They’re just playing games at this point.”Full Article: Husted appeals 2nd ruling tossing Ohio voting laws | The Columbus Dispatch.
Doug Chapin knows it’s a cliche, but he can’t help himself when asked to explain why our state sees so many bitter battles over voting. “I think Ohio just ends up being the epicenter of the perfect storm,” says the elections-law expert with the University of Minnesota. He cites three reasons: No state is a more reliable barometer of presidential elections; few, if any, states have a more powerful secretary of state; and “the level of mutual partisan distrust in Ohio is as high as anyplace.” In case you’re skeptical of the latter point, you should listen to the litany Ohio Democratic Chairman David Pepper throws at GOP Secretary of State Jon Husted. Pepper, who teaches election law as an adjunct at the University of Cincinnati, points to how Husted and other state officials have been shot down “over and over and over and over” in various courts for trying to restrict Ohioans’ voting rights in violation of the U.S. Constitution.Full Article: Ohio remains voting-rights battleground | The Columbus Dispatch.
Ohio: State asks federal judge to delay reinstating ‘Golden Week’ allowing registration, voting | Cleveland Plain Dealer
Ohio has asked a federal judge in Columbus to hold off enforcing an order requiring the state to allow voting during Golden Week, when voters can both register to vote and cast an in-person absentee ballot. U.S. District Judge Michael Watson last week struck down a state law that eliminated Golden Week, ruling that the 2014 law violates both the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. That law shortened early voting from 35 days before an election to 28. Husted said then that the state would appeal the ruling.Full Article: Ohio asks federal judge to delay reinstating 'Golden Week' allowing registration, voting | cleveland.com.
The state of Ohio filed a federal court appeal on Thursday seeking to restore a Republican-backed limit on early voting and accelerated voter-registration measures that were seen by civil rights groups as boosting minority turnout. U.S. District Judge Michael Watson in Columbus ruled on Tuesday that Ohio violated voters’ rights by reducing the period that ballots could be cast before an election to four weeks from five weeks. Watson’s decision also struck down Ohio’s elimination of a seven-day window during which residents could both register to vote and cast their ballots all in the same week – a period known as “Golden Week.”Full Article: Ohio appeals U.S. court decision in favor of early voting | Reuters.
Ohio: ACLU sues Secretary of State Jon Husted over removing voters from the rolls | Cleveland Plain Dealer
A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday is suing Ohio Secretary of State over how state officials remove inactive voters from the rolls. The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio on behalf of Ohio A. Phillip Randolph Institute and Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, argues people are removed from Ohio voter rolls in violation of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also called the “Motor Voter” law. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said the state manages its voter rolls in compliance with both federal and state laws and has been complying a 2012 settlement requiring voter rolls to be scrutinized and maintained. “This lawsuit is politically motivated, election-year politics, is a waste of taxpayer dollars, and opens the door for voter fraud in Ohio,” Husted said in a statement.Full Article: ACLU sues Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted over removing voters from the rolls | cleveland.com.
Ohio: Husted says he’s intent on finding fix to absentee-ballot postmark issues | The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said he isn’t sure the U.S. Postal Service has a solution to the postmark issues that plagued absentee ballots during last year’s general election. Speaking at the Ohio Association of Election Officials Convention at the Hilton Downtown Columbus on Wednesday, he said it was partially up to election workers to figure out a solution to the problem. “We don’t need to look at blame. We need to look at a way forward,” Husted said. Ohio voter law allows absentee ballots to be counted if their postmark date falls before Election Day, even if the ballots don’t arrive until after. In November, 1,523 ballots were not counted because the U.S. Post Office did not postmark them. “My priority is to ensure voters who follow the law that their votes will be counted,” said Husted, a Republican.Full Article: Husted says he's intent on finding fix to absentee-ballot postmark issues | The Columbus Dispatch.
Ohio’s elections chief is confident that glitches encountered in November’s elections will be corrected before the battleground state holds its high-stakes presidential primary in March, he said on Friday. Secretary of State Jon Husted said he plans a series of steps to ensure that problems with postmarks and poll books aren’t repeated. The remarks came on a day when he received reports related to snags in the Nov. 3 elections and met with U.S. Deputy Postmaster Ronald Stroman. Husted insisted that the pivotal swing state will be ready for 2016. “There’s no other option,” he said.Full Article: Husted insists voting problems will be fixed | The Columbus Dispatch.
A national advocacy group for visually impaired people and three Ohio voters are suing Secretary of State Jon Husted, claiming some services provided by Husted’s office are in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The complaint, filed Monday in federal district court in Columbus, alleges the state’s voter services website is inaccessible to visually impaired voters and the state’s system of paper-only absentee ballots infringes on their right to vote. Visually impaired people use screen access software that reads websites aloud or displays the text on a Braille device. The secretary of state’s website, which allows voters to update their registration information and request absentee ballots, is incompatible with screen access software, according to the complaint. Blind voters must then complete forms on paper, which they cannot do without human assistance.Full Article: Blind voters sue Jon Husted over website accessibility | cleveland.com.
An agency advocating for the disabled has sued Secretary of State Jon Husted for allegedly denying voters who are blind equal access to absentee voting and his state website. Disability Rights Ohio filed a lawsuit on Monday in U.S. District Court in Columbus on behalf of three residents of Columbus, Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio, as well as the National Federation of the Blind. The suit alleges that Husted, as the state’s chief elections officer, has denied “individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to vote absentee privately and independently and to access its voter services website, in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.” The suit seeks an injunction against Husted, plus attorney fees and costs.Full Article: Advocates for disabled sue Husted over voting, website problems | The Columbus Dispatch.
In a clash foreshadowing next year’s presidential election, Democrats in the Ohio House and voter activists now want big changes in how voter registration rolls are purged in the state. Experts consider registration the No. 1 factor in determining participation, and a bill unveiled last week by state Rep. Kathleen Clyde, a Kent Democrat, seeks to stop state officials from removing from the rolls voters who move within the state or who have been inactive. Her bill still would allow purging voters who move out of state and would leave intact the removal process for those who die or request to be removed.Full Article: To purge voters, or not, in Ohio - Editorials - Ohio.
Ohio: Postal Service to develop policy for postmarking absentee ballots after concerns raised about discounted ballots in Summit County | Akron Beacon Journal
The U.S. Postal Service will develop a policy on postmarking absentee ballots in light of concerns raised this week by Summit County elections officials about nearly 900 ballots discounted because they lacked postmarks. “We will be talking to the Ohio Secretary of State to reach a mutual understanding of acceptable postmarks for absentee ballots and develop a uniform policy addressing all concerns to help prevent this from happening again,” David Van Allen, a postal spokesman, said Thursday in a written statement.Full Article: U.S. Postal Service to develop policy for postmarking absentee ballots after concerns raised about discounted ballots in Summit County - Break News - Ohio.