The state of Ohio stays losing in the area of voting.
This week has been a horrible one for the state and its efforts to provide voting access to its citizens.
Let’s put this into context. Ohio is one of the most crucial battleground states in the 2012 contest. President Obama won the state by a 52-47 percent margin over John McCain in 2008. Ohio’s 18 electoral votes would be ideal for either the president or Mitt Romney to win this year.
Ohio’s Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, stepped in and was determined to help the state lean red again. He started by altering the early voting hours in some counties to allow a few conservative ones to vote longer than those that are more Democratic. When he was ridiculed for that, he changed to make the hours equal for all the counties while eliminating weekend voting altogether. The new hours would allow voting until 7:00 p.m. two weeks before the election and get rid of weekend voting.
Elections officials in Montgomery County, where Dayton is the county seat, had a different plan. They had been successful in past elections with weekend voting, so they tacked it on to the weekday schedule that Husted set.
When the two officials, Thomas Ritchie, Sr. and Dennis Lieberman, crossed Husted that’s when things took a turn for the worst.
Husted suspended both Ritchie and Lieberman from their positions and threatened to fire them. Mind you, the two officials were only trying to provide MORE access to people voting in a county that has made good use of weekend voting. Montgomery County, for instance, has a lot more black voters who work during the week that benefit from weekend voting.
I understand making the voting hours uniform across the state. What I don’t understand is why weekend voting has disappeared.
To sum it up, it’s a mess in Ohio. The state ALWAYS seems to find it self in some type of voting-related drama.
ANSWER IN THE COMMENTS SECTION:
What do you think about the drama around Ohio’s voting issues?
Was Montgomery County wrong for altering its voting hours?