Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ohio State Senator Nina Turner calls for election reform in Ohio, takes on Ohio Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted in editorial to Plain Dealer

By Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner (D-25) as a guest columnist to the Plain Dealer Newspaper, Ohio's largest newspaper. A Cleveland Democrat, Turner is a former Cleveland Ward 1 councilwoman and one of two Black Ohio senators representing Cleveland  constituents, among others. She represents Ohio's 25th legislative district and is contemplating a run in 2014 for Ohio Secretary of State against controversial Republican Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. Though appointed at times, no Black Democrat has ever been elected to a statewide office in Ohio such as governor, auditor, attorney general, secretary of state or the Ohio Supreme Court.

CLEVELAND, Ohio- Elections, of course, create winners and losers. In every contest one candidate party or issue will come out on top. It is rare, however, that voters come as close as they did this year to getting the short end of the stick.

This year we squeaked by thanks to the dedication of local elections professionals and races not being as close as predicted. If it were not for public outcry and several court rulings, there would have been more confusion and Ohioans would have had fewer opportunities to vote.
Praise for Ohio's elections system and its chief administrator -- Secretary of State Jon Husted -- is, at best, premature, given the 300,000 provisional and absentee ballots outstanding after Election Day. At worst, it ignores the policies of voter exclusion that have become so prevalent over the past year and a half.
If these practices were in place for this election, voters in many large, urban counties would have been prevented from casting early in-person ballots on the weekend. No voters would have benefited from the proactive mailing of absentee voting applications'.
Such policies would have created unfair, and possibly discriminatory, outcomes for voters. The hours-long waits on Election Day in Ohio could have easily become the all-night debacle of South Florida.
It was only after being forced by federal judges, and rebuffed by the U.S. Supreme Court, that Husted reinstated the final three days of early voting. All registered Ohio voters received absentee ballot applications not because of his foresight, but because he struck a deal with leaders in Cuyahoga County who insisted the ballots be mailed despite his objections. CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL EDITORIAL AT THE CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER AT CLEVELAND.COM