Holy Fucking Jim Crow

Remember that story over the weekend on how Democrats are crushing Republicans in new voter registration in Florida and Ohio? Well, in a move that would make a Mississippi election board from the 1950's proud, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is attempting to block thousands of those new registrations because of paper stock (PDF):Voters-rights advocates are criticizing two recent decisions by Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell that they say will unfairly limit some people's ability to vote Nov. 2. Blackwell's office has told county boards of elections to follow strictly two provisions in Ohio election law:
  • One requires Ohio voter registration cards be printed on thick, 80-pound stock paper.
  • The other ordered boards to strictly interpret the rules regarding provisional ballots, the ones cast by voters who move before the election but are still registered in Ohio.
The paper-stock issue is frustrating Montgomery County Board of Elections officials, who have a backlog of registrations to complete. If they get an Ohio voter registration card on paper thinner than required, they are mailing a new card out to the voter. But if they still have the backlog by the registration deadline, Oct. 4, voters will not have another chance to get their correct paperwork in, said Steve Harsman, deputy director of the Montgomery County board. In Montgomery County there is a backlog of around 4,000 registrations, Harsman said. A few hundred could be affected by this provision, he said. This is utterly despicable and un-American. This is an obvious, partisan attempt to disenfranchise new voters and deny them their civil rights in a state where new voters tend to be minorities and working class. Notify your local news media about this travesty. Drop Blackwell a line, or ten, as well.

J. Kenneth Blackwell-R
180 E. Broad St., 15th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
614-466-3910
E-Mail: blackwell@sos.state.oh.us

Update:Jimmy Carter says things ain't much better in Florida.

Tags: Republicans (all tags)

Comments

52 Comments

Want more disturbing Ohio info?
The Director of the Stark County's Board of Elections, is on Congressman Ralph Regula's (Rep. OH-16) payroll.

Not illegal, but maybe a conflict of interest?

If that wasn't enough, he also has a history of making contributions to Ralph Regula.

Want more?

When it was determined that Stark County wasn't going to Diebold electronic voting machines when 31 other counties were assigned them...

The same Director of Stark County's BoE replied, "This isn't over, money talks..."  He refused to elaborate on what he meant by that statement.

This problem in Ohio is deeper than just Kenneth Blackwell.

Tim

support Jeff Seemann - Ralph Regula's opponent

by Tim Tagaris 2004-09-27 09:06AM | 0 recs
Florida . . . Oops I Meant Ohio
It's time to let Jimmy Carter and his International Elections Monitoring Group know and to mobilize the KE '04 and the DNC's Legal people.
by MD in MA 2004-09-27 09:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Florida . . . Oops I Meant Ohio
James Lee from Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell's office called me just now.  I am a liberal journalist, so I have no reason to side with the Republicans.  You are simply wrong on this issue -- here is the deal -- Ohio WILL count voter registrations that are on paper thinner than 80 pound stock, but the general directive is that it needs to be on 80 pound stock because less thick paper gets torn up easily.  This is a recommendation ONLY, and they have told all counties including Montgomery in the past that voter registrations should be 80 pound stock, but that ANY registrations that are on thinner paper will get processed.  Not only that, but this directive is federal, and it was in place long before Blackwell came to office.

As a liberal, I am all for hunting down GOP corruption, and agree there is much of it.  But this issue is a non-issue, it is misinformation, hysteria, something that needs to stop now so we can focus our energy on real issues.

by grakoth 2004-10-21 11:47AM | 0 recs
I emailed blackwell just now
thanks for posting the address
by Winger 2004-09-27 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: I emailed blackwell just now
I did as well.  What a sham!!!  I told him i was going to vote for Bush but these kind of actions make me re-think my feelings on the Bush and the GOP.  Its partly true, I wasn't going to vote for Bush, but It did make me lower the GOP again in my opinion of them.  
by Michael 2004-09-27 11:42AM | 0 recs
ohio
I just checked out Blackwell's website, and found that the guy is an African-American.  Sorry to see him doing the GOP's bidding on fixing the election.  I'd like to think that someone of his ethnic persuasion would feel strongly about empowering as many voters as possible.  Ohio has both a Republican Attorney General and a Republican Secretary of State, which leads me wonder how we are going to get a clean election in that critical state?
by global yokel 2004-09-27 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: ohio
I actually knew that.  I've heard a number of State Secretaries of State speak on C-SPAN.  He was impressive, if "impressive" means "Repeats Right-Wing Spin in an engaging manner."
by JoshNarins 2004-09-27 03:44PM | 0 recs
double standards are fun
You can't tear down Republicans and Nader for their claims that partisan Democrats are bumping him off the ballot for technicalities, then turn around and squeal the same thing when it's your own voters.
by asf6 2004-09-27 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: double standards are fun
Except you are comparing apples and oranges.  

Keeping a candidate off a ballot and keeping his supporters from voting for him are two different issues.

I would raise holy hell if Blackwell was a Democrat and he was doing this to keep fundamentalist Christians from voting.  I support the constitutional right to vote and feel that you should be able to sign up the same day as the election if you want to.  I have always gotten after people to vote.  I still say, "I hope you vote for Kerry, but if not then I hope you vote."  I have pressed people under 30 to vote in every election, as they will never truly gain any political power without a voice and a steady voting record.

The Nader challenges are political absolutely.  However, this is not keeping someone from voting at all.  It is simply challenging Nader to make sure he has enough votes.  Yes it is a little underhanded, but then with all the invalid signatures that have popped up, I actually agree with it.  Just because Nader isn't on the Ballot, doesn't mean people can't vote at all.  If they can't register, they can't vote.

Hopefully, you can understand the difference.

by Michael 2004-09-27 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: double standards
I disagree, Michael. I don't support Nader's candidacy, but there's not as much difference between what the Democrats have done to him and what the Rethugs are doing to us as you think.

Keeping a candidate off a ballot and keeping his supporters from voting for him are two different issues.

Nonsense. Keeping a candidate off a ballot is simply one way of keeping his supporters from voting for him (the preferred way, for non-major-party candidates), presumably in the hopes they will then vote for someone else (Kerry, in Nader's case).

It is simply challenging Nader to make sure he has enough votes.  Yes it is a little underhanded, but then with all the invalid signatures that have popped up, I actually agree with it.

Sorry, but not all challenges to Nader are based on not having enough valid signatures. Many have been based on technicalities, such as filing paperwork a few hours late. In Arizona whole rafts of signatures from valid voters were tossed because the signature gatherer wasn't qualified (due to a drug conviction or some such nonsense).

Of course, the Rethugs haven't played fair with respect to Nader either, helping him get signatures even though they oppose everything he stands for, etc. Florida's SoS was especially egregious, defying a court order to place his name on absentee ballots.

Given that the Rethugs are going to play dirty, we may be justified in playing equally dirty to cancel them out. (Kind of like trying to find "blue" states to redistrict, to cancel out what Tom DeLay did in Texas last year.) That would make an interesting ethical discussion, but pretending we're being complete angels isn't helpful.

One more thing. It's not fair to give someone a '1' rating just because you disagree with them. Keep that in reserve for real trolls.

by Mathwiz 2004-09-28 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Blue State Redistricting
Have you looked at a map of Maryland's Congressional districts?  There are some ridiculous gerrymanders there, which resulted in the congressional delegation going from a 4-4 split to 6-2 Democratic in 2002, when we were getting our butts kicked just about everywhere else.  
Later,
Alex
by Alex 2004-09-28 02:21PM | 0 recs
Re: double standards NO COMPARISON!
NO COMPARISON!

Everybody does not have the right to be on the ballot...there are legal standards that must be met to qualify; in some states they are stringent, in other states they are loose, like in California, which is why the California recall was such a circus.
There's nothing wrong with challenging a candidate's legal qualification to be on the ballot.

Everybody does not have the right to be on the ballot.

But everybody DOES have the right to vote!

NO COMPARISON!

by BatmanRKC 2004-09-29 09:19AM | 0 recs
Blackwell
And yes, thanks for publishing his address - I immediately wrote him a scathing e-mail.
by Dorothy Ligon 2004-09-27 10:41AM | 0 recs
Forget Blackwell
He's not going to budge.  It might be more productive to target the county boards of election, especially the most populous (in votes), most Democratic counties, asking them to contest or ignore Blackwell's instruction.  In 2000, the ten most populous were Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Montgomery, Summit, Lucas, Stark, Butler, Mahoning, and Loarin.  Of those, all but Hamilton, Stark, and Butler went to Gore.  According to a diary at Daily Kos, Cuyahoga has already said that it will ignore Blackwell.  Ask the remaining counties to do the same:

FRANKLIN  COUNTY
280 E. Broad St., 1st floor
Columbus, OH 43215-4572
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Monday thru Friday)
Telephone: (614) 462-3100 / Fax: (614) 462-3489
Email: boe@co.franklin.oh.us
Web site: www.co.franklin.oh.us/boe
DIRECTOR
Matthew Damschroder   REP    
DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Michael R. Hackett   DEM

MONTGOMERY COUNTY
451 W. Third St.
PO Box 8705
Dayton, OH 45481-8705
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Monday thru Friday)
Telephone: (937) 225-5656 / Fax: (937) 496-7798
Email: mcboe@montcnty.org
Web site: www.mcboe.org/
DIRECTOR
Christopher Heizer   REP    
DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Steven P. Harsman   DEM

SUMMIT COUNTY
470 Grant St.
Akron, OH 44311-1157
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Monday thru Friday)
Telephone: (330) 643-5200 / Fax: (330) 643-5422
Email: summit@sos.state.oh.us
Web site: www.electionsonthe.net/oh/summit/
DIRECTOR
Bryan C. Williams   REP    
DEPUTY DIRECTOR
John N. Schmidt   DEM

LUCAS COUNTY
One Government Center, Suite 300
Toledo, OH 43604-2250
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Monday thru Friday)
Telephone: (419) 213-4001 / Fax: (419) 213-4069 or (419) 213-4092
Email: lucas@sos.state.oh.us
Web site: co.lucas.oh.us/
DIRECTOR
Paula Hicks-Hudson   DEM    
DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Jill B. Kelly REP

MAHONING COUNTY
2801 Market St.
Youngstown, OH 44507
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Monday thru Friday)
Telephone: (330) 783-2474 / Fax: (330) 783-2801
Email: sciortino@cboss.com
Web site: www.electionohio.com/mahoning/
DIRECTOR
Michael V. Sciortino    DEM    
DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Thomas P. McCabe   REP

LORAIN COUNTY
(Main Office)
115 Cedar St., Elyria, OH 44035
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Monday thru Friday)
Telephone: (440) 326-5900 or 5901 / Fax: (440) 326-5931
and
2158 Broadway, Lorain, OH 44052
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Monday thru Friday)
Telephone: (440) 244-3186 / Fax: (440) 244-5609
Email: lorain@sos.state.oh.us
Web site: lorainboe.erienet.net
DIRECTOR
Marilyn A. Jacobcik   REP
DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Kenneth D. Kelleher   DEM

by Drew 2004-09-27 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Forget Blackwell
Sent to each of those addresses:

Dear [director and deputy director, e.g. "Ms. Jacobcik and Mr. Kelleher"],
    I am writing to request that you resist the unlawful and un-American effort by Secretary of State Blackwell to suppress voter turnout by strictly enforcing a requirement that Ohio voter registration cards be printed on thick, 80-pound stock paper.  This is a clear violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1971 (42 U.S.C. 1971), which states, "No person acting under color of law shall . . . deny the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election."  It is strongly reminiscent of the Jim Crow laws Southern segregationist Democrats used to deter blacks from voting, such as poll taxes and literacy tests -- the very laws that the Voting Rights Act was specifically designed to strike down.  Ohio, and especially the Ohio Republican Party, are better than this; Senator Robert Taft Jr. was one of the strongest backers of the Voting Rights Act.  I hope that you will not allow the stain of such antidemocratic practices to tarnish your state's proud legacy.
Sincerely,
J. Alexander Harman

Thanks for the info.  Where can I find the rest of Ohio's county boards of election?  Might as well hit them all.
Later,
Alex

by Alex 2004-09-27 01:09PM | 0 recs
See the link under
County boards of election.
by Drew 2004-09-27 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: See the link under
Thanks.  By the way, the address for Montgomery county was incorrect; it's actually mcboe@mcohio.org.
Later,
Alex
by Alex 2004-09-27 01:37PM | 0 recs
Update
I've hit them all now.  Nine of the addresses on that page were defunct, but the other seventy-eight went through; I hope it'll do some good.
Later,
Alex
by Alex 2004-09-27 11:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Forget Blackwell
Reply from Franklin County:

Thanks for the note.  We are resisting it.

Chris Wilson
FC BOE
Columbus, Ohio

Good news; hope the others are doing the same.
Later,
Alex

P.S. The Cleveland Plain Dealer just e-mailed me requesting detailed contact information, because they're considering publishing my letter to the editor requesting that they endorse Kerry.  Here's hoping....

by Alex 2004-09-27 02:40PM | 0 recs
I'm from Ohio
...and I keep telling my mother "Bush is an idiot, and a dangerous one at that."  I think she actually agrees with me.  I'd hate to see her lose her vote because of this putz.
by thomaswoof 2004-09-27 10:55AM | 0 recs
Jim Crow redux
I sent this to Blackwell.  It made me feel better, even if he sticks to his policies.

Dear Mr. Blackwell,

I recently read about your order to strictly enforce a requirement that new voter registration cards be processed on 80-pound stock paper.  Please consider fairly enforcing the spirit, not the letter, of this law and permit registrations to be submitted on a variety of paper types.  The special dispensation granted to Cuyahoga County should be extended to all counties in the state.  I also ask that you avoid punitive enforcement of the provisional voter law.  The state of Ohio and your office are better than the tactics currently being employed.  

The 80-pound paper law looks very much like efforts used by southern state governments in the 1890s and early 1900s to bar African Americans from voting.  These laws included requirements that voters not only pay a poll tax that approximated from one to five days' wages for poor Southerners, but that they also provide receipts showing that the tax had been paid for every election in which that voter had been eligible.  The practical effect of the poll tax was to create hurdles that dissuaded most people from trying to vote.  Other such obstacles included literacy tests that did not test literacy, and grandfather clauses that exempted whites from such tests.

Technically, these laws did not violate the 15th Amendment barring states from discriminating against voters based on their race, but they had the practical effect of denying blacks the vote, and they were clearly designed to do so.  The success of disfranchising laws can be measured in a half century of regional dominance by Democratic segregationists and a dramatic decline in African-American voter turnout.  

Was it worth the political advantage to build on the bitter legacy of slavery and leave this country with racial conflicts that have carried on for generations?  Segregationist Democrats said yes, but Ohio Republicans--including Robert Taft, Jr. who, in 1964, pushed for passage of the Voting Rights Act--have historically said no.  

Will winning Ohio for the GOP be worth the bitter fights to come over access to the ballot?  Some in your party undoubtedly say yes, but the answer is clearly no if we consider the collective good of our nation and the democratic system that we are fighting to create in Iraq.  

Again, please change your policies in regards to voter registration, and allow those who have met the requirements in all but its most arcane detail to cast their ballots.

by history prof 2004-09-27 11:06AM | 0 recs
Blackwell is Violating Federal Law
Voting Rights Act of 1971

42 U.S.C. 1971

No person acting under color of law shall . . . deny the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election.

by RandyMI 2004-09-27 11:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Blackwell is Violating Federal Law
I am new to the site, and am delighted to be among like-minded progressives! :-)

I just sent the following email message to Sec. of State Blackwell:

{Dear Mr. Blackwell -

I understand from several sources that, in your offical capacity as Ohio Secretary of State, you are requiring all county election officals to strictly enforce a state requirement that Ohio voter registration cards be printed on thick, 80-pound stock paper.

As Secretary of State, you should certainly already know that his is a clear violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1971 (42 U.S.C. 1971), which states:

"No person acting under color of law shall . . . deny the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election."  

This is an explicitly partisan action in violation of federal law, designed to subvert democracy, and contrary to the spirit of self-government Americans hold dear.}

Here's hoping for a deluge of mail to Blackwell's office and a lot of publicity.

by peacenik mom 2004-09-27 07:14PM | 0 recs
my letter
i'm not very good at this, but maybe this email i sent will help:

Mr. Blackwell,

Please reconsider your decision regarding voting cards in Montgomery County.  As Secretary of State, you should be happy for and proud of so many Ohioans registering to vote for the first time.  What a testament of civic virtue and responsibility to your new constituents!

Furthermore, voting (when of age and properly registering oneself, etc.) is a fundamental right.  Patriotic Americans both at home and overseas have died for this most precious tenant of our democratic way of life.  Please honor and respect their sacrifices.

Yours truly,

[matty fred]

by matty fred 2004-09-27 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: my letter
(1984) A Ceremony on the S. Lawn to honor young Michael Jackson who is the sensation of the pop music world--believed to have earned $120 mil. last year. He is giving proceeds from one of his biggest selling records to the campaign against drunk driving. He is totally opposed to Drugs & Alcohol & is using his popularity to influence young people against them. I was surprised at how shy he is.
----
online prescription drugs
by galin 2007-10-08 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Holy Fucking Jim Crow
An important point to keep in mind is that the article only talks about Montgomery County, which is fairly small.  When all counties are considered the number of applications rejected in Ohio could go into the thousands.
by Notagain 2004-09-27 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Holy Fucking Jim Crow
I phoned Blackwell's office about an hour ago and was told: a) this directive was in keeping with longstanding rules on paper weight (true, but irrelevant to the fact that no one worried about weight until now) and b) that the memo was sent on Sept. 7 (worrisome because this means that the last three weeks of registration efforts are subject to being compromised.)
Phoned ACLU in Ohio and left a message asking them to inquire and press for reversal.
Also emailed Oliphant at Boston Globe, but we need to bring this to the attention of Kerry campaign, and the mainstream media. A firestorm of protest is needed. T.J. Pempel
by Pempel 2004-09-27 11:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Holy Fucking Jim Crow
Nice work.
by Heraldblog 2004-09-27 01:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Holy Fucking Jim Crow
Okay, as a loyal Globe reader I will do my part.
by mdhatter 2004-09-27 02:39PM | 0 recs
Montgomery County
Notagain, I disagree that Montgomery County is small.  Dayton is located there.  Montgomery has about 550,000 residents and is the 4th largest county in Ohio.
by jcaid77 2004-09-27 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Montgomery County
I stand corrected.  

Even considering that, there are still 86 (they're leaving Cleveland alone) other counties where this rule will be applied.

by Notagain 2004-09-27 12:23PM | 0 recs
Potential mail-fraud question
Secretary Blackwell,

I would like to call you attention to the Voting Rights Act of 1971.

42 U.S.C. 1971

'No person acting under color of law shall . . . deny the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election.'

Should it come to your attention that any officials were taking enforcement actions which rejected voter registration forms based on the use or non-use of 80 lb. cardstock, I thought it might be useful for you to indicate which section of the US Code specifically the offical was breaking, prior to your sending him or her out into the field.

Thank you for your time,

by mdhatter 2004-09-27 02:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Potential mail-fraud question
Good one!  I don't know if he'll be fooled by your feigning ignorance of his own criminal activities, but it ought to at least give the jerk pause....
Later,
Alex
by Alex 2004-09-27 02:41PM | 0 recs
First we send in the lawyers
Where are all of Kerry's lawyers???

Methinks one would do better Emailing the Kerry campaign and asking them to rev up the lawsuit, which might actually get a preliminary injunction in enough time to do some good.

by Eli Rabett 2004-09-27 02:54PM | 0 recs
Re: First we send in the lawyers
First the lawyers, then the media blitz.

AFAICT, the people who will be handling a lawsuit are the civil rights division of the justice department. I think the DNC or the Ohio Democratic Party ought get on them promptly.

But the real payoff would be a full-scale media blitz on the subject in ohio, focusing on the attempted disenfranchisement and thus fraud in the state's race. Could be huge, and a bigger plus than any lawsuit.

I really don't know how to get the mechanics of that going, but carefully done 30 second ads about the whole thing could be greatly effective.

by dctoo 2004-09-27 03:25PM | 0 recs
ALL LOCAL COUNTY BOARDS TOO
SUGGESTION TO CALL LOCAL COUNTY BOARDS OF ELECTIONS IN OHIO AS WELL AS CONTACTING COLUMBUS
----------------------------------------------
hey--
as somebody living in Ohio right now and who has spent the last several months registering voters for ACT this paper stock thing scares the shit out of me.

I've already called the secretary of state's office this morning. I suggest when folks call that they also suggest/demand that Blackwell call a press conference and address this issue and insure the voters of Ohio that all registrations will be honored.

In addition to contacting the secretary of state's office, I suggest folks contact local boards of elections and put pressure of them to explain the status of all registrations. WE HAVE TO ACT ON THIS, and act in huge numbers NOW ...

here are a couple of numbers:
Lucas County Board of Elections (Includes Toledo): 419-213-4001
Wood County Board of Elections (INcludes Bowling Green): 419-354-9120

This is the link for all county boards, you can get phone numbers here:
http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/boe/index.html

by Daniel Boudreau 2004-09-28 05:46AM | 0 recs
Ohio Dems file suit
Thanks for this post and string of comments. Th

Belatedly, the Ohio Democratic Party announced Tuesday morning that it has filed suit against Blackwell - but only over the provisional ballot issue. Insiders say the Dems have been embarassed into finally taking some action. I think others are going to have to step up to the plate and take on Blackwell.

For ongoing coverage of the Ohio voting issues, please check out our blog at http://www.loganselm.blogspot.com.

by Hypothetically Speaking 2004-09-28 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Holy Fucking Jim Crow
I do not know what 80# paper stock means.  Paper is sold by basis weight, and the three primary bases are bond, which is 17x22 inches, text, which is 25x38 inches, and cover, which is 20x26 inches.  Thus 24 pound bond is considerably heavier than 24 pound text.  If the Ohio law just says 80 pound paper stock, then the law is so vague as to be unenforceable.
by pasquin 2004-09-28 12:03PM | 0 recs
Don't forget newspapers, radio, and TV
We tend to lose track of traditional media.
by moob 2004-09-28 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Holy Fucking Jim Crow
Hey, check out the link.  You think the Jim Crow bit is at all ironic? Or even unmerited? Hysterical, unfair comments don't further the Democratic cause.

http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/blackwell/jkbio.htm

by entropos 2004-09-29 12:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Holy Fucking Jim Crow
"Hysterical, unfair comments don't further the Democratic cause. "

No, but hysterical, unfair comments do manage to do quite a bit to show what Democrats are really all about.

by Gerasimov 2004-10-05 12:20AM | 0 recs
Update from NBC4
Thickness Of Voter Card Paper Questioned

Counties Ignoring Order For Registration On Heavy Paper

POSTED: 2:34 pm EDT September 28, 2004
UPDATED: 3:31 pm EDT September 28, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A reminder that state voter registration cards must be printed only on heavy cardboard-like paper has created confusion for some county election boards.

Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell issued the reminder after questions were raised about the proper weight of the paper. Voter registration cards are permanent records under state law, which does not specify paper type. Blackwell's office requires the cards to be printed on 80-pound card stock.

"I have probably 50 e-mails that came in overnight," Steve Harsman, deputy director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections in Dayton, said Tuesday. "Voters are very concerned about it because now they're going to question, 'Was my card on 80-pound paper? Am I registered?' "

But election board directors in Hamilton County in Cincinnati and Summit County in Akron say Blackwell's reminder has not caused any problems.

Blackwell's office says the order is meant to prevent lightweight cards from being shredded by postal equipment. Blackwell says boards should accept all forms and register voters, then send voters the proper card -- printed by the county board -- to fill out for the permanent record.

"We're not the paperweight police, we're not going to physically inspect every voter registration form at the boards of elections," Blackwell spokesman Carlo LoParo said.

It's not the only confusion that a Blackwell statement has caused. Democrats on Monday sued Blackwell over his order requiring election boards to send voters who show up at the wrong polling place on election day to the proper area rather than letting them cast a ballot.

by BrianHeddleson 2004-09-29 05:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Holy Fucking Jim Crow
I don't know why it is so difficult to follow rules... This is not some requirement that Mr. Blackwell made up in an effort to discourage voters. Why is it that the democrats always have to be the victim.  This is not going to affect the democratic voter any more than the republican voter, it is a state law. The USPS has minimum requirements to mail a single piece of mail not in an envelope. Which is a minimum of  3.5"x5", maximum of 4.25"x6" and that is to be on CARDSTOCK!  If these cards are to be mailed in, why can't people just follow instructions? Is this too much to ask? If the cards actually make it to the County  Board of Elections undamaged, Mr. Blackwell has instructed them to register them as voters and send them the "proper  card" to fill out and send in for permanent record. If people have a problem figuring out the proper way of doing things, is it really that hard to go into the local county government building and get assistance from county officials. If people are worried that they did not actually get registered, they can check online or make the trip to the government center and find out. While they are there they could register the way they are supposed to, if in fact they did not do it correctly the first time around. If you don't follow instructions its your own fault that you don't get registered. Why does Mr. Blackwell all of a sudden become the bad guy when all he is doing enforcing the existing laws? Just make sure you register the right way and you won't have a problem.
by fella245 2004-09-29 02:20PM | 0 recs
Holy Fucking Illegal Votes
Looks like perhaps Blackwell knew what he was talking about afterall...

How to Steal an election

Some counties in Ohio even have more new voter registrations than there are eligible voters the county... what's up with that?  Perhaps rules are there for a reason?

by Gerasimov 2004-10-05 12:18AM | 0 recs
by maowenjie 2004-10-21 05:03AM | 0 recs
Spoke to Blackwell's office
James Lee from Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell's office called me just now.  I am a liberal journalist, so I have no reason to side with the Republicans.  You are simply wrong on this issue -- here is the deal -- Ohio WILL count voter registrations that are on paper thinner than 80 pound stock, but the general directive is that it needs to be on 80 pound stock because less thick paper gets torn up easily.  This is a recommendation ONLY, and they have told all counties including Montgomery in the past that voter registrations should be 80 pound stock, but that ANY registrations that are on thinner paper will get processed.  Not only that, but this directive is federal, and it was in place long before Blackwell came to office.

As a liberal, I am all for hunting down GOP corruption, and agree there is much of it.  But this issue is a non-issue, it is misinformation, hysteria, something that needs to stop now so we can focus our energy on real issues.

by grakoth 2004-10-21 11:46AM | 0 recs
How about we do this:
How about we do this:

We all support making sure that people vote in their own precinct and present identification before being allowed to vote.  We go exclusively to electronic voting so that a national database updated in real time can be used to prevent anybody from voting twice in different states.

In short, we design a system that makes sure everybody who votes is who they say they are, that everybody who votes is legitimately registered, and that everybody who votes only votes once.

Support that?

I didn't think so.

Identification of the party that benefits most from voter fraud isn't difficult.  In general, whenever any effort to make voter fraud easier comes up Democrats support it and Republicans oppose it.  Whenever one to make voter fraud more difficult comes up, Republicans are for it and Democrats are against it.

Just one more indication of just how corrupt and unscrupulous the Democratic Party is.  I am not a Republican..I'm a Libertarian...but it's time for you people to wake up and realize which of the two major parties is the more corrupt, unscrupulous, and dishonest.  It ain't the Republicans.

by JohnStOnge 2004-10-23 04:12AM | 0 recs
by 2005-08-18 05:55PM | 0 recs
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