A lot of you are aware of this because you watch Rachel Maddow:
If you live in Butler or Warren counties in the Republican-leaning suburbs of Cincinnati, you can vote for president beginning in October by going to a polling place in the evening or on weekends. Republican officials in those counties want to make it convenient for their residents to vote early and avoid long lines on Election Day.
But, if you live in Cincinnati, you’re out of luck. Republicans on the county election board are planning to end early voting in the city promptly at 5 p.m., and ban it completely on weekends, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. The convenience, in other words, will not be extended to the city’s working people.
The sleazy politics behind the disparity is obvious. Hamilton County, which contains Cincinnati, is largely Democratic and voted solidly for Barack Obama in 2008. So did the other urban areas of Cleveland, Columbus and Akron, where Republicans, with the assistance of the Ohio secretary of state, Jon Husted, have already eliminated the extended hours for early voting.
County election boards in Ohio, a closely contested swing state, are evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. In counties likely to vote for President Obama, Republicans have voted against the extended hours, and Mr. Husted has broken the tie in their favor. (He said the counties couldn’t afford the long hours.) In counties likely to vote for Mitt Romney, Republicans have not objected to the extended hours.
Husted seems to be feeling some pressure from all the media attention, so is reconsidering:
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, under growing pressure to resolve a contentious dispute over whether counties should have extra evening and weekend voting hours this fall, on Tuesday told The Enquirer he is moving toward a statewide order on the politically charged issue.
Recall what happened here. In 2010, Ohio Republicans pushed through still more restrictive laws on voting despite the fact that Ohio already has a voter ID law.
Democrats and allies responded by collecting enough signatures to put that new more restrictive voting law to a “citizen veto”, by qualifying the voter suppression law as a referendum on the 2012 ballot. That action stayed the law.
Ohio Republicans then repealed their own law rather than putting it to a statewide vote. Now Secretary of State Husted is relying on administrative rule changes and sleazy tactics like this to produce the same results he and his Party were unwilling to defend in the form of a ballot referendum. They wouldn’t put their voter suppression law to a statewide vote because they were afraid they would lose. Instead, they’re simply going around voters to put these measures in by administrative action.
These are the actions of desperate people. They ran on jobs, jobs, jobs, and all we’ve seen are laws targeting contraception and abortion, voter suppression attempts and union-busting; in other words, purely partisan appeals to their rabid voter and donor base. They’re governing for the 27%.