02 April 2014

Why is Attorney General DeWine making unfair and untruthful statements to Ohio voters? DeWine recently rejected the petition language for the citizen’s initiative entitled the “Voters Bill of Rights.” The proposed amendment would have granted Ohioans the same rights recognized in the European Union – making voting a Constitutional right.


DeWine was quoted in the Columbus Dispatch as saying he rejected the petition’s language because it failed to provide “fair and truthful statements” about matters concerning voter identification practices and voters being purged from the voting rolls due to failure to vote.


Here are the facts now denied by Mike DeWine. In 2012, the Free Press obtained public records from all 88 of Ohio’s county Boards of Elections (BOE) documenting that 1,092,392 voters were removed from the voting rolls since the 2008 presidential election. Cuyahoga County, which includes Democratic-rich Cleveland, led the Buckeye State with 267,071 purges. Franklin County which includes the capital of Columbus, removed 93,578 voters. Franklin County went 58% for Obama in the 2008 election. Hamilton County which includes Cincinnati removed 65,536 voters, for a total of 426,185 from these three Ohio counties. Once again, a few rural Ohio counties reported no purges. These include Hancock, Huron, Sandusky, and Wood counties.


The National Voting Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993 mandated that each state make a reasonable effort to remove the names of ineligible voters from the official voting rolls. Some voters were purged for legitimate reasons such as those who are deceased and voters who moved out of the county or out of state. But, the Act also allows BOEs to remove voters who have not voted in two consecutive federal election cycles. BOEs are allowed to mail to registered voters who can be purged if they do not respond to the mailing – even if they still live at their registered address.


Apparently, DeWine is not aware of this practice.


A U.S. Election Assistance Commission report entitled “The Impact of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 on the Administration of Elections for Federal Office 2011–2012” issued on June 30, 2013, noted that “States removed nearly 13.7 million voters from voter registration lists, for reasons including death, felony conviction, failure to respond to notices sent and vote in consecutive Federal elections, having moved from one jurisdiction to another, or at the voter’s request.”


These results were similar to an earlier Commission study done two years earlier: “States removed more than 15 million voters from voter registration lists, for reasons including death, felony conviction, failure to respond to a confirmation notice and failure to vote in consecutive Federal elections, having moved from one jurisdiction to another, or at the voter’s request.” (The Impact of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 on the Administration of Elections for Federal Office 2009-2010)


DeWine thinks it is misleading to point out that more than a million voters were removed from the voting rolls in the last two presidential election cycles. That is because it’s the practice of his Republican Party to oppress black, poor, young, and elderly voters as a matter of New Jim Crow principles.
In 2004, records document that 24. 96 percent of every voter in Cleveland were purged from the voting rolls. The higher the percentage of blacks living in an election ward or precinct, the higher the voter purge. In one Black ward, 51 percent of the voters were removed.


DeWine is punishing election rights activists because they are being factually accurate about a racist campaign to purge black voters because they overwhelmingly vote Democratic.


Following the 2012 election, the Dispatch offered this analysis on its editorial page: “Reality is that elections in Ohio have been increasingly smooth since the watershed year of 2004, when truly unreasonable waiting times at many polling places prompted reform.” What the pro-Republican editorial staff at the Dispatch fail to report is that there were actually 17,000 more uncounted provisional voters in 2012 than there were in 2004.


A 2009 study by the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law found that in the 2008 presidential election, Ohio voters were 16 times more likely than a Missouri voter to be forced into casting a provisional ballot and 32 times more likely than a Virginia voter. These second-class Ballots often go uncounted.


DeWine is deceiving Ohio voters and like any authoritarian bureaucrat, is desperately trying to keep verifiable facts away out of the public debate.