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George R.R. Martin, author of "A Game of Thrones", has slammed "Republicans and their Teabagger allies" in so-called swing states for what he calls "voter suppression."
In a recent blogpost on Martin's website, he refers to recent voter purges in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa, saying that "The people behind these efforts at disenfranchising large groups of voters (the young, the old, the black, the brown) are not Republicans, since clearly they have scant regard for our republic or its values. They are oligarchs and racists clad in the skins of dead elephants."
Originally posted by beezzer
We can either take a reasonable approach
Take the approach the Author endorses.
Who are the haters again?
Even as we speak, Ohio Republicans and the Republican Ohio Secretary of State John Husted have created two tiers of voters in that state, those who live in Republican counties, and get EXTENDED early voting hours, and those who live in Democratic counties, and get SHORTENED early voting hours. This is just one of MANY examples of GOP voter-suppression tactics currently at work.
While the law allows the four-member county boards of election -- two Democrats and two Republicans -- to set their own hours for in-person early voting, when there is a tie, the secretary casts the deciding vote. Husted said that if called upon to break a tie, he will side with limiting voting to weekday business hours -- 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
He's done that already in a handful of counties, including Cuyahoga, Summit, Franklin and Lucas -- Democrat-heavy areas with major Ohio cities, respectively, Cleveland, Akron, Columbus and Toledo at their core.
Meanwhile, a few Republican-dominated areas -- Warren and Butler counties in Southwest Ohio -- have voted to extend their voting hours into evenings and Saturdays.
In those counties, Republicans voted with Democrats to extend the hours, whereas Republicans in counties where Husted has broken a tie had voted against extending hours.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said he is considering requiring the same set of early voting hours across the state in the run-up to the November election.
"There's nothing forthcoming and nothing in the near term as far as a directive on this matter," Husted said in an interview, "but I will be listening to local boards of elections' concerns on this issue."
Later, Husted's spokesman Matt McClellan said, "Secretary Husted will not respond to political hysteria, rather he will work with local elections officials to find a thoughtful solution."
Husted did not outline which county boards of election he would be talking to or say when he might make a decision on whether to issue a directive, other than saying he did not expect to make a decision this week.
Meanwhile, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald plans to hold a news conference Tuesday to ask the county board of elections to reconsider its ban on weekend early voting, now that other counties have voted to allow it. FitzGerald, a Democrat, said the county has the money in its budget to cover the extra staff.
With this being a presidential election year and Ohio again a swing state, the stakes are high and an enormous amount of attention is being focused on access to voting.
Husted last week announced that his office was now offering registered voters the option of updating their home addresses online. The measure is intended to cut down on the use of provisional ballots, which are more highly scrutinized, confusing and sometimes not counted at all.
And the secretary reiterated last week that for the first time in a major general election, Ohio would be mailing absentee ballot applications to all 7 million registered voters to give more opportunities to cast a ballot.
In the '08 campaign, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman was running for re-election against Democrat Al Franken. It was impossibly close; on the morning after the election, after 2.9 million people had voted, Coleman led Franken by 725 votes.
Franken and his Democratic allies dispatched an army of lawyers to challenge the results. After the first canvass, Coleman's lead was down to 206 votes. That was followed by months of wrangling and litigation. In the end, Franken was declared the winner by 312 votes. He was sworn into office in July 2009, eight months after the election.
When Ohioans went to vote in the 2008 presidential election, they could cast ballots in person the weekend before Election Day. Lynne Edward Kincaid, the director of the Butler County Board of Elections, remembers that Saturday and Sunday in 2008.
“You would not believe the crowds that we had,” Kincaid says. “And the line was 2 1/2 to four blocks long.”
But he won't at this point be offering extra hours on Saturdays in October and later hours on some business days during the week.
Butler is a Republican area. But Jerid Kurtz, a spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party, notes that similar attempts says to extend voting hours in Democratic areas have run into a roadblock.
In some big city counties including Cuyahoga, Franklin, Lucas and Summit, “they are choosing not to give access,” Kurtz says. “And Republicans are using every tool at their disposal to limit access and it’s very disturbing.”
In Ohio, Republican-approved cutbacks in early voting will disproportionately disfranchise African American voters who live in the state's most heavily populated counties. Ari Berman at The Nation gives us the skinny.
In a state known for its chaotic elections, early voting stations in Ohio's Democratic-leaning counties will soon be restricted, while it's Republican-leaning counties will see their early voting hours expanded. Starting October 1st, voters in Ohio's urban centers will have early voting stations open from 8am to 5pm. Republican election commissioners blocked Democratic efforts to expand the times to make early voting more accessible for people who work during these times. Republican Secretary of State Jon Usted stepped in to break the tie, deciding in favor of restricting times in these counties, but allowed Republican-leaning counties to expand their hours to nights and weekends.
Originally posted by jjkenobi
And once again why should I care what this guy's opinion is? If the law has been broken arrest people or fire up the law suits or whatever it takes to fix it. Sitting around writing blog pieces on the Internet is pointless.