Ohio Supreme Court upholds same-day registration and voting
That's the good news, for Ohio!
The bad news -- this Window on "no hassle" Voting
closes tomorrow October 6!
so that Ohio clock is ticking ...
The Associated Press
Ohio early voting survives court challenge
Oct 04, 2008
-- A Republican-backed 2005 law allows anyone to vote early using an absentee ballot, by mail or in person, without stating a reason, referred to as no-fault absentee voting.
-- A quirk in the law allows people to register to vote and then immediately cast a ballot for one week, or Sept. 30-Oct. 6.
-- The state GOP and some Ohio voters argued in separate lawsuits that Ohio law requires voters to have been registered for 30 days before they can cast an absentee ballot.
-- Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner disagreed and told county boards of election to allow the same-day registration and voting.
-- On Monday a federal judge in Cleveland and then the Ohio Supreme Court sided with Brunner.
I wonder if the GOP will have the gall to appeal this "State rights" Decision to the Supreme Court, like they did to the Florida Supreme Court, in the 2000 Election?
Wall Street Journal
Republicans Fight to Observe Early Voting in Ohio
Amy Merrick - October 3, 2008
The state Republican and Democratic parties have been urging Ohio residents to vote absentee, by mail or in person, to reduce lines at the polls Nov. 4. Early voting began Monday in the state and continues through Nov. 3.
During a one-week period that ends Monday, voters can register and cast a ballot at the same time.
In arguing for the election observers, Republicans have raised concerns that early voting, particularly when same-day registration is involved, could increase the chance of fraud.
Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, advised county boards of elections last week that Ohio law does not specifically provide for election observers for early voting.
The law does provide for observers at five other points in the election process, such as during the processing and counting of absentee ballots, which will occur on Election Day.
In Ohio, observers are no longer allowed to challenge voters at polling places, but they may gather information to challenge them later.
Some boards cited her directive in refusing to admit poll-watchers this week.
While Ohio election boards may be moving into the new era of openness and Transparency, unfortunately many other States are still selective "purging voter rolls", without notification or oversite:
Massive voter roll purges being done in secret, with little or no oversight, and often under federal Justice Department cover, in states and counties around the country.
The report lists: Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Masachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington, as places where massive purges have recently taken place.
Massive Voter Roll Purges Underway in At Least 19 States
SO Voters in those 19 States, should probably check NOW -- Make sure you ARE STILL Registered to Vote!
Don't let some bureaucratic operative in the shadows, silence your Voice, in November. Do SOMETHING Now.
Now Back to the good news story in Ohio,
The average person is now being empowered to vote,
(instead of being blocked from exercising this basic Right)
Voter Hotline and support Websites -- it's about time!
The Earth Times
Absentee Voting Begins and October 6 Registration Deadline Nears, Free Hotline and Website Available to Help Ohio Voters
Voters should call 1-866-OUR-VOTE or visit http://www.866ourvote.org/ through Election Day to seek free, confidential and nonpartisan advice on registration and voting
"The ability to register and vote at the same time is particularly crucial for students, many of whom are participating in the electoral process for the first time and may not be able to get to the polls on Election Day," said Ami Sanchez, Associate Counsel at the National Campaign for Fair Elections at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
"The enthusiasm we're seeing from first time voters of every political affiliation this year is thrilling and we should be doing everything we can to remove barriers to access for eligible voters."
Ohio state and federal courts ruled on Monday that, through October 6, Ohio residents have the right to register to vote (or update their address) and cast an absentee ballot in-person in one visit to the Board of Elections or a designated "vote center."
Residents can check with their local Board of Elections for the location. Residents can also call the free, non-partisan Election Protection hotline, 1-866-OUR-VOTE, with questions or to report any problems in voting.
A Democracy of, by, and for the People -- What a Concept!
It depends on one essential element though -- the People!
Empowering People to Vote -- easily and accurately
it essential to the long-term health of this self-regulating process, we call Democracy.
and Demand a Paper Ballot
from your Secretary of State --
(or request an Absentee Ballot)
And Ohio Voters get out there tomorrow --
and avoid the long lines, in November!