Jon Husted Made It Easier For Military To Vote But Obstructs African-Americans

photo of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted aired his first campaign ad this week. The ad hypes a program that treats members of the military better than average Ohio citizens by bending over backwards so they can vote. The program is one reason Husted keeps loosing in Federal court as he keeps trying to obstruct voting for non-military Ohioans and especially African-Americans.

The ad opens with photographs of a military family and features “Vicki,” the mother of an Ohio serviceman.

“Jon Husted’s nationally recognized military voting program makes it easier for men and women in the military to vote while serving our country,” she says.

“Soldiers are trained not to be found, but Jon Husted found my son and is making sure he gets a chance to vote.”

Husted’s Military Ready to Vote program allows military personnel to request online notification about upcoming elections and ballot materials, allowing them to download and mail in their ballots from wherever they are stationed. They also receive a tracking number to check to see if the ballot was received and counted.

Husted campaign’s first TV ad is about voting

So while Husted has bent over backwards to make it as easy as possible for active military and their families to vote, he keeps trying to throw obstacles at non-military Ohioans – especially African-Americans.

Husted and the GOP have been working hard to roll back early voting and restrict absentee balloting. This post from Plunderbund, in 2013, is one of many examples:

After spending the weeks leading up the 2012 presidential election issuing directives telling Boards of Elections that they HAD to have uniform hours and they absolutely COULD NOT be open on weekends or on the three days leading up to the election, going so far as to fire members of the Montgomery County BOE for trying to have weekend voting hours, Husted seems to have suddenly abandoned his whole “uniformity” mission.

As far as we can tell, no directive was issued by Husted for this Wednesday’s election.

A letter sent yesterday to Husted by State Rep Kathleen Clyde points out that at least five counties are not allowing in-person voting on Monday before the May 7th primary, while offering a seemingly random mix of hours on the Saturday (today) and Sunday before. Here is Franklin County, for example, the BOE was open from 8:00 am – 12:00 noon today – but they won’t be open tomorrow or Monday.

According to Clyde, the lack of a directive requiring BOEs to be open for in-person voting “is in violation of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision” that forced Husted to open up early voting last November.

Husted suddenly loses interest in election uniformity

Yes, Husted fired two members of a local Board of Elections because they scheduled more hours for in-person early voting than he directed.

You would think someone would get fired for trying to restrict hours not increase them but then Husted doesn’t want non-military Ohioans to vote.

Just this past week Husted lost an federal court appeal blocking an recent Ohio law that reduced early voting days and eliminated Sunday hours.

The state has appealed to the US Supreme Court to be allowed to implement the law while the case is further appealed in the courts since the early voting period is set to start next week.

2014 ‘Vote While Serving’