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