The debate over voting rights in Ohio rages on, unabated.
Democrats argue that the Republicans in the legislature and the Republican secretary of state, Jon Husted, have done everything in their power to make it difficult for Democrats – particularly African-American voters – to cast a ballot.
Husted and the Republicans argue that you would be hard-pressed to find a state that gives its people more opportunities to cast a ballot, with its 28-day early voting period for both mail-in absentee ballots and early in-person voting at the state’s 88 county boards of elections.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, the state’s chief election officer, put out a rather cheery press release this week to let Ohio voters know how well off they are when it comes to early voting.
“Voting in Ohio is easy,” the headline read, accompanied by a multi-colored graphic showing Ohio and its multiple ways of voting, alongside mean old states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky, which Husted said don’t afford voters so many opportunities.
In politics, if you have the numbers, you get to make the rules.
In Ohio, the Republicans have the numbers – they control both the Ohio House and Senate, they have one of their own in the governor’s office, John Kasich, and a Republican as the state’s chief elections officer, Secretary of State John Husted.
What Kasich, Husted and the legislature have done in recent weeks is to wield that power to make some rather big changes in the early voting system Ohio has used since 2006.