As the Republicans in the legislature haggle among themselves on how they’re going to reunify the federal and state candidate primaries next year, I keep wondering when are we going to see some official action by the legislature to appropriate money and grant the authority for the State to send an early ballot application to every registered Ohio voter.  Remember that?

In order to prevent the Cuyahoga County government from paying to send an early ballot application to every registered voter in the county (as it has done in prior elections) for this year’s elections on Issue 2, the Republican legislative leadership reached a deal with Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald.  If Fitzgerald would drop the county’s effort to send absentee ballot requests to Cuyahoga County voters this year, the GOP legislative leadership committed to mailing out an early ballot application to every registered voter in Ohio for the 2012 general election.

I mean, I know at the time the GOP cited federal money to pay for this proposal (which begs the question then why haven’t we done this EVERY general election, then), but right now there’s been no explicit legislative authority for the Ohio Secretary of State’s office to do what the GOP promised.  In the three months since this deal was announced, I’ve seen no public action by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted or the GOP legislative leadership to take any official action to meet their obligations under the deal, and I am not sure what recourse Ed Fitzgerald has if the GOP fails to live up to their end of the bargain.

Maybe some enterprising member of the Ohio House or Senate should propose statutory authorization for the Secretary of State to mail out early ballot applications to all registered Ohioans for the 2012 general election as an amendment to the pending primary ballot legislation.  Just a thought.

Because it sure seems like the GOP legislative leadership lost all interest in this deal once Cuyahoga County committed to not making it easier for its residents to vote early when Issue 2 was still on the ballot.

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