by Felix Perez, photos courtesy of Fair Elections Ohio
Ohio’s voters dealt Governor John Kasich a stunning rebuke last month by repealing the law that stripped teachers, police officers and other public service workers of their right to have a say at their workplace.
With last Friday’s announcement that the state’s voters have collected enough signatures to place another law engineered by the governor and statehouse Republican leaders on the November 2012 ballot, the odds are good that Kasich’s divisive agenda — and job approval numbers — will suffer another staggering blow.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced Friday, December 9, that his office has certified 307,358 signatures to put the law on the ballot. Petition organizers exceeded by more than 75,000 the number of valid signatures required by law.
According to a statement from Fair Elections Ohio, the coalition that organized the volunteer driven petition drive, the law, HB 194, “makes harmful changes to Ohio election law by making it more difficult for citizens to cast a ballot. By limiting access to voting and making it more difficult for voters to express their views, this legislation is designed to benefit one party’s voters and to exclude others.”
The Ohio law would shorten the early and absentee voting period and shorten voting hours. It would eliminate Sunday voting and removes the current requirement that poll workers tell voters they are in the wrong precinct.
The Ohio announcement came two days after the Advancement Project, in partnership with civil rights, labor and other civic organizations, launched a petition drive to submit signatures to the U.S. Department of Justice to “deny approval to new repressive voting laws in states governed under the Voting Rights Act such as Texas, South Carolina and Florida, which this year passed legislation that will suppress votes from people of color, the disabled, youth and the elderly.”
Are radical GOP governors and state elected officials deliberately trying to skew the 2012 elections through restrictive voting laws aimed at specific groups? Tell us what you think below.