Last Wednesday Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted issued a directive to local Boards of Elections preventing them from offering early voting on weekends.   Husted claimed it was all about uniformity and fairness, but today Doug Preisse  finally admitted the real reason behind the decision:

“I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine,” said Doug Preisse, chairman of the county Republican Party and elections board member who voted against weekend hours.

Shorter Doug Preisse:  I voted against keeping the polls open on weekends to prevent black Democrats from voting.

Props to Preisse for finally being honest about the Republican’s racially-targeted voter suppression agenda.

On Friday, two Democrats on the Montgomery County Board of Elections (Thomas Ritchie Sr. and Dennis Lieberman) decided to fight back, voting to allow early voting on weekends in the Dayton area.

According to the US Census Bureau, Dayton is 42.9% black, exactly the kind of “urban — read African-American” area that typically votes for Democrats and exactly the kind of area in which Preisse and Ohio’s Republicans want to deter voter turnout.

Husted has suspended the officials and is threatening to fire them at a hearing tomorrow morning.

A rally has been organized for 8:00AM in front of Husted’s office (180 E. Broad Street, Columbus).  We’re planning to swing by before work to help support voting rights for all Ohioians!  Hopefully you’ll join us.

  • The “smoking gun” quotes from GOP officials – first the Pennsylvania quote that the GOP has won PA for Romney because the voter ID laws were done, and now that Ohio refuses to accommodate urban and African-American voters because they may vote and affect the outcome – don’t seem to have any impact on our political conscience. Pretty soon we will have to go back and apologize to President Nixon and his “dirty tricks” team because their (back-then) criminal actions are less egregious than the public actions of politicians now.

  • orion89

    First of all, I am in favor of the early voting. I think it is an excellent idea to solve the problem of longs lines at the voting booths. However, I had a thought about election day. Maybe employers need to guarantee voters time off to vote without penalty. Maybe families should never have to decide between food on the table and excercising their civic rights. It has become more apparent that middle class and poor are impacted by this the most since getting time off to vote is an inconvenience to employers. Maybe the vote should be a national holiday where everyone has off or if they do have to work are guranteed the right to leave work to vote with no penalty. If voting is indeed that important to Republicans, maybe we should look at making sure everyone has that opportunity.

    It saddens me to think we call ourselves a democracy, and yet we behave in ways that demonstrate the exact opposite.

  • missskeptic

    IMHO, had Husted decided to reinstate those last 3 days of voting, this mess would not have landed in his lap. I don’t understand why he is still so resistant to reinstating those days. The voting public now is completely confused by the changes in days and hours to vote. With absentee (re: paper ballots) voting expected to reach 50% in this election, why do we continue to vote on outdated, breakdown-prone, and extremely slow electronic voting machines? The real reason that getting voter results on election nights is often due to the slowness in these 6-8 year old IVOs.

  • Ron

    How about having the election on Sat?

  • gregmild

    Ron, these days too many people work on Saturdays, including many low-wage individuals who are already expressly impacted by the voting limitations that would occur by holding voting only on a Tuesday. Limiting voting times (by eliminating days close to the election, for example) in any way does not promote an increase in voter turnout.

  • Leota2

    Truly, I try not to cast unnecessary aspersions on good people with a difficult job to do but Doug Preisse is a POS. Can the state of Ohio get any more frightening?

  • anastasjoy

    Well, I agree, and I remember hearing former Cuyahoga BoE executive director Michael Vu (who was unfairly maligned for actions I’m sure were orchestrated by Bob Bennett) talk about how election day back in Vietnam where he was from was a national holiday, and that he thought that was a great idea. Of course, at the time, he was speaking to that special interest snake-in-the-grass group, the League of Women Voters.

  • TheRealBillybob

    Has anyone verified that the “-read African-American-” part are actually words that came from Preisse? Or was that some sort of editorializing on Rowland’s part? I mean Rowland’s article is the only source for this claim and he gives virtually no clue as to when, where, how, he determined Preisse said that? There is no Preisse statement to that effect to be found anywhere but Rowland’s article. I’m just trying to verify if the words that appear in quotes are accurate, anybody have any verification that they are accurate?

  • TheRealBillybob

    But we actually live in a Constitutional Republic not a democracy!

  • rmthunter

    “I don’t understand why he is still so resistant to reinstating those
    days. The voting public now is completely confused by the changes in
    days and hours to vote.”

    I think you just answered your own question.

  • Cthulhu0818

    How the hell can they say this things and get away with it unscathed and unpunished? This is NOT the America I fought and bled for.

  • John Hoffman

    Don’t the Blahs know they are entittled to unpaid time off to vote. If their employer is not a Republican Dickbag, he will pay them anyway.

  • Sidney18511

    If there were so many cases of in person voting fraud, then it would be very easy to find on the interwebs thousands of prosecuted cases and thousands of people in jail. Check for yourselves. I couldn’t find one, except for one republican.

  • Preisse doubled down and didn’t disavow the “read African-American” part of the quote:

  • J kale

    Doug Priesse is a gay man, he is a minority! What a hypocritical pig!

  • gregmild

    “left-wing Dispatch?” Seriously?

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