As we careen down the home stretch of the Ohio mid-term elections, we have to focus on what is important: your vote.

We fight wars so others may exercise their franchise in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Remember the press and Bush Administration gushing about the purple fingers? Here in Ohio, the Kasich Administration simply gives us the finger.

Since 2011, the Ohio GOP has made a concerted effort to undo the reforms enacted after Ken Blackwell made Ohio ground zero for voter suppression and questionable shenanigans. Ohio was front page news (for the wrong reasons) in the run up to G.W. Bush’s reelection in 2008.  Many feel Ohio was stolen. Bob Fitrakis examined that election in his book, “What Happened in Ohio?”

When the Republicans took power in 2011, voter rights rollbacks were a priority. The legislature vowed to stop in-person voter fraud, which in Ohio is as rare as unicorns. They also cut early voting days and eliminated “the golden week” when you could register and vote at the same time, saying it had to be done to keep the “wrong” people from voting.  After all, how do you loot a state if people can vote you out? So cue the gerrymandered districts map; a map was concocted in secret in a hotel room without pesky opposition input.

Governor Kasich has gladly signed all the voter-related legislation while Secretary of State Husted gleefully wrote the rules to further restrict access. When the Federal courts said he couldn’t do that, Attorney General DeWine appealed on “Ohio’s” behalf. The Buckeye State was repeatedly slapped down. With Ohioans having greater access to the polls, President Obama carried Ohio in 2012, catching Karl Rove by surprise and causing a memorable melt down on Fox News’s election night coverage.

The next plan?

  • Absurdly long lines in Dem precincts? Absolutely.
  • Cut early voting days and restrict hours? Done.
  • Voter ID? Ok, tried it but it didn’t survive.
  • Vote in wrong polling place by accident? Toss that ballot.
  • Toss a ballot due to a mistake? Check.
  • Claim it’s overreach by the Feds to interfere in Ohio elections? Say it on air.
  • Only doing this for uniformity? Also say it on air.
  • Ohio has more voting days than most states? Repeat it over and over on the airwaves.
  • Saying you’re only trying to protect Ohio voters and make the process fair? Beat that dead horse.

With SCOTUS denying a stay, Kasich, Husted and DeWine finally didn’t lose one. This action came only hours ahead of scheduled voting this year, so it was pushed back a week and has reduced voting days and hours.

Democrats outnumber Republicans in Ohio voter registration. If we vote, we WIN. It’s that simple.

But what happens if they win?

  1. Right-to-Work legislation. The GOP hasn’t learned its lesson from Senate Bill 5. You should also expect more restrictions on women’s healthcare options. The Heartbeat bill effectively outlawing abortion refuses to die.
  2. AG DeWine will continue to use his office to file amicus briefs in abortion fights in other states as he ignores more pressing issues in Ohio. He’ll also continue to press sure-to-lose appeals on gay rights.
  3. Kasich will support these moves and won’t even support the old civil union idea. Johnny Boy wears his pro-life creds on his sleeve, so expect no vetoes. After all, the Guv has close ties to Mike Gonadakis, a man who compares abortion to African-American genocide. Kasich will play to the national GOP base as he plans another embarrassing run for POTUS.
  4. Jon Husted will continue to fight for “uniformity” in voting, until it’s uniformly easy for white Republicans to seal one party rule here.

If voting is not important why are these office holders writing laws and spending so much time in court to stop you?

If you fail to vote, you are voting for the status quo.

If you fail to vote, the GOP will see that as carte blanche to expand their goals until Ohio is indistinguishable from the New Confederacy.

Vote as if your life depends on it. It does.

Simply put, Vote.  No excuses.