Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

File under "If it's not close they can't cheat."

This should come as no surprise to anyone. I'm pretty sure even Dan Riehl wasn't surprised when this story came down yesterday. The Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner (Democrat, naturally) has tossed out thousands of absentee ballots cast in favor of John McCain:

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has a reputation as the most partisan state official in Ohio. And she works hard to earn it. The Democrat's latest stunt rejected absentee ballots for thousands of Republicans. ...

Two Hamilton County voters have sued, accusing her of "the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters."

The John McCain campaign sent out more than 1 million applications for absentee ballots to Republicans. Each had a line at the top next to a box: "I am a qualified elector."

Brunner sent a memo telling county election officials to reject those applications for absentee ballots if the box was not checked. "Failure to check the box leaves both the applicant and the board of elections without verification that the applicant is a 'qualified elector'," she wrote.

But that's contrary to state law and Brunner doesn't have the authority, according to the lawsuit and an opinion from Hamilton County's Republican Prosecutor Joe Deters.

Ohio law allows voters to request an absentee ballot on the back of a grocery sack if they want to, as long as they include their name, address, date of birth, signature and either a driver's license number, last four Social Security numbers or a valid picture I.D.

There is nothing in the law about checking a box to verify a qualified voter. The voter's signature is enough, because that's what is checked to send ballots, said Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Greg Hartmann, who ran against Brunner in 2006 and is now county chairman for the McCain-Palin campaign. "It's just bald partisanship," he said. "She's trying to disqualify likely McCain voters."

The Deters opinion said "it is equally reasonable that the squares are intended simply as bullet points in an inartfully designed application."

Brunner said, "While state law does not require a check box, the McCain-Palin campaign designed its form to require that voters check a box to affirmatively state they are qualified electors."

Sen. Gary Cates, R-West Chester didn't buy it. "This is not a time to give people the appearance that voters are being suppressed," he said.

Majority Floor Leader Sen. Tom Niehaus, R-New Richmond, said, "Take the politics out and you'd think the state's chief elections official would err on the side of allowing people to vote."

State law requires local officials to notify voters if their applications are rejected. That will cause confusion, especially for elderly absentee voters, Hartmann said. It's also costly and time consuming in an election year.

OK, fault the McCain camp if you want for the "inartfully designed application" but this is BS from Brunner. It's clear that her intent here is to disenfranchise voters. And could we expect anything less this year? Obama and McCain are locked in a tough slog, and neither side is giving the other an inch of maneuverability. Obama is in trouble if we look at the state-by-state polling, and he's been on his heels, playing defense, since the addition of Sarah Palin to the McCain ticket. Toss in Slow Joe's seemingly unending series of gaffes, and it's no wonder why Obama needs the help of people like Jennifer Brunner and Mayor Richard Daley.

The Secretary of State is breaking the law by refusing to accept ballots that are clearly legal. If she gets away with this, it would be a serious disservice to the voters in Ohio. She shouldn't get away with it. The governor or the state legislature need to step in, and order an investigation. If it's discovered she is breaking the law, forget suing her. She should be impeached and removed from office.

Publius II


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home