Husted Using Office to Assist Campaign

Husted borrows from Mandel playbook

COLUMBUS- After putting his name four times on absentee ballot mailings mailed to most Ohio registered voters and sending unsolicited mass emails touting last-minute, election-year improvements to the online business services, Husted has ordered every county Board of Elections to display posters in every polling location which prominently feature Husted’s name.   Reportedly, Husted’s office is even refusing requests by Board of Elections to allow his name to be covered up in polling locations to avoid the appearance of electioneering while he is on the ballot.

In response to Husted’s use of the office to assist his campaign, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern issued the following statement:

“While making it harder to vote this year, Jon Husted has made it easier for him to cheat by abusing his office to campaign in polling places.  Jon Husted is abusing his office by forcing Board of Elections to allow him to electioneer at a polling place.  There is no valid official reason for every voter to be forced to see Husted’s name at a polling place except to help his campaign. ”

Yost Campaign Files Yet Another Bogus Complaint

Yost Threatens to Take FCC Licenses over Critical Ad

COLUMBUS- Late Thursday, the Yost campaign attempted to threaten Ohio television stations’ FCC broadcasting licenses for airing a Carney for Ohio ad criticizing Yost for signing a contract to provide $7 per cup of coffee for coffee breaks at a waste and fraud conference.  To date, no television station has pulled the ads from broadcast.  This morning, the Ohio Democratic Party released a web video “We’re Not Buying It” which highlights Yost’s hypocrisy in his ad and his campaign’s response to John Patrick Carney’s campaign ad.

Last Friday, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission alleging, under oath, that John Patrick Carney’s campaign for State Auditor was using the wrong disclaimer in the Carney campaign’s first paid television ad highlighting Carney’s record of bipartisan leadership in Ohio. However, as the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported, the entire complaint was due to the failure of Secretary of State’s office to update its online campaign finance database of a filing Carney’s campaign filed over a year ago.

Despite the fact that ORP’s complaint has been proven to be entirely baseless, the Ohio Elections Commission confirmed that as of 10:00 a.m. Friday, the Ohio Republican Party still has yet to withdraw the complaint.

In response to the latest false complaint pushed by Republican Dave Yost and the Ohio Republican Party, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern issued the following statement:

“Dave Yost is a self-proclaimed ‘lightweight’ when it comes to standing up to his Republican Party bosses, which is why he refused to do a financial audit of JobsOhio, and failed to prevent horribly gerrymandered districts from being approved on the Apportionment Board.  As an avid campaigner for Kasich’s Senate Bill 5, Dave Yost should remember what a false ad actually looks like, such as the pro-SB 5 ad in 2011 which TV stations chose to pull off the air. It’s time for Dave Yost and the Ohio Republican Party to stop wasting the time of Ohio’s television stations and the Ohio Elections Commission with their frivolous complaints against John Patrick Carney’s campaign for State Auditor.”

BACKGROUND

Yost failed to call out his own party when it ran deceptive ads about SB 5 that were pulled, but openly campaigned for it.  In 2011, television stations did pull from the air a misleading ad of the pro-SB 5 campaign in which the campaign took a private citizen’s endorsement of the anti-SB5 We Are Ohio campaign and manipulated it to make it appear as if she supported SB 5.  [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (10/12/2011), “Television stations pulling SB5 commercial over concerns it is misleading.”]  Around the same time, Yost was willing to give SB 5 his full throated endorsement, but never publically called out the campaign for its deceptive ad.  [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (10/1/2011), “Retain Senate Bill 5.”]

Yost admitted that he failed to speak out against partisan gerrymandering by his own party because he’s “a lightweight.”  In an editorial board joint interview, Dave Yost defended his failure to do anything in the Apportionment Board to fight for fair districts by saying: “anyone that thinks that I could go into that room and cause something different to happen isn’t paying attention.”  [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (10/2/2014), “Ohio Auditor Dave Yost and challenger John Patrick Carney fight over JobsOhio, redistricting and coffee.”]

Matt Borges was Yost’s campaign manager in 2010 despite admitting to engaging in improper use of a State office in a play-to-pay scandal in the State Treasurer’s Office in 2004. [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (5/14/12); Cincinnati Enquirer (7/28/04), “Deters cleared, aides guilty: Treasurer’s former chief of staff and fund-raiser plead.”)

FACT CHECK: Kasich-Taylor Campaign Releases Blatantly False Web Ad on Economy

Yesterday, the Kasich-Taylor campaign released a web ad, “Ohio’s Comeback.”  The web makes no citation for any of its claims, most likely because many of the asserted claims by Governor Kasich on the economy are blatantly untrue and extremely misleading.

In response to the Governor’s false political ad, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern issued the following statement:

“When John Kasich came into office, Ohio was creating jobs and leading the nation in economic recovery.  With Kasich behind the wheel, Ohio is stuck in neutral and working families and hurting while the Governor entertains delusional fantasizes of being President.  Kasich’s policies have failed to create the jobs Ohioans need, all while shifting the tax burden onto middle class families.”

BACKGROUND

FALSE CLAIM #1: “4 years ago … Ohio was 48th in job growth.”

FACT:  By the time of the November 2010 election, Ohio was 18th in job creation with a job creation rate (1.02%) nearly twice the national rate (.54%) over the 12-month period.  Now, Ohio ranks 41st in job growth (.58%), which is less than a third of the national job creation rate compared to 12 months prior.  [Source: Arizona State University, W.P. Carey School of Business, Job Growth USA website (not seasonally adjusted figures.)]

FALSE CLAIM #2: “4 years ago… highest unemployment rate in history.”

FACT: At the height of the 2008-2009 recession, Ohio’s unemployment rate peaked at 10.6% from July 2009 until February 2010.  However, Ohio’s unemployment rate exceeded that from December 1981-October 1983, where Ohio’s unemployment rate peaked at 13.9%.  The video also ignores that the unemployment rate in Ohio has gone up over the summer back to the same levels as in April. [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (seasonally adjusted)]

FALSE CLAIM #3: “4 years ago…$8 billion projected budget shortfall.”

FACT: This claim is the biggest lie in Ohio political history.  Ohio has a constitutional requirement to balance the budget.  In fact, the last Strickland Administration budget ended with a surplus.  As the Plain Dealer reported, using the term “deficit” when describing “one time” money was inaccurate when it concluded that “what once seemed true is now evolving as we learn more.”  The Plain Dealer resolved that the entire claim was based on “faulty assumptions” regarding the state’s revenues, expenses, and economic growth made by Tim Keen, Kasich’s Director of Budget and Management.

FALSE CLAIM #4: “4 years ago… only $0.89 Cents in Ohio’s Rainy Day Fund.”

FACTS:  This claim ignores “that first payment the Kasich administration made to the rainy-day fund — $246.9 million in July of 2011 — came at the completion of the last two-year budget former Gov. Ted Strickland signed into law.”  Kasich’s claim ignores that Strickland left a substantial surplus that replenished the rainy day fund.  [Source: Columbus Dispatch (7/11/2013).]

FALSE CLAIM #5: Kasich in 2010: “300,000 Ohioans have no job.”

FACT:  As of August 2014, 323,811 Ohioans are unemployed and that figure does not include how many of the 90,759 Ohioans that have dropped out of the labor market since Kasich took office who dropped out because they simply gave up looking for a job in Ohio. [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (seasonally adjusted)].

FALSE CLAIM #6: Fox News Host Chris Wallace: “Your state has been the number five job creator in the nation and number one in the Midwest.”

Ohio presently ranks as 41st in job creation. [Source: Arizona State University, W.P. Carey School of Business, Job Growth USA website (not seasonally adjusted figures.)]

Ohio has the lowest job creation rate in the region. Ohio’s job creation rate for the past twelve months is half of West Virginia’s and nearly a third of Kentucky’s or Michigan’s, according to the Governor’s Office of Budget and Management.  [Source: Ohio Office of Budget & Management, September Monthly Financial Report, pg. 4]

After losing nearly 3,000 jobs in May, the revised July figure showed Ohio lost 8,600 jobs—the second largest monthly job loss in the nation.  Ohio actually has fewer jobs now than in April.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (revised July data)(seasonally adjusted.)]

Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus Statement On The One Year Anniversary of The “We Won’t Go Back” Rally

Today, October 2nd, 2014, marks the one year anniversary of the “We Won’t Go Back” rally, where people from all across the state gathered outside the Ohio Statehouse to stand together against the anti-women agenda being pushed through the legislature by the Kasich Administration. In response, Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus Chairwoman Kathy DiCristofaro, and Ohio Democratic County Party Chairs Association President Janet Carson jointly released the following statement:

“It was one year ago that people from all across Ohio gathered at the Statehouse to send a clear message to Governor Kasich: No matter how many anti-women bills he signs trying to take women’s rights back to the 1950’s, “We Won’t Go Back.” Throughout the past four years of John Kasich as Governor, he’s proven again and again that he is wrong on the issues that matter to women and their families: paycheck fairness, access to women’s health care, a strong public education system, and good-paying jobs that earn a living wage.

“We are proud to support our statewide ticket, half of whom are women, and will be the strongest advocates for Ohio families. Over the next 33 days, our focus remains turning out voters to elect Ed FitzGerald, Sharen Neuhardt and the rest of our Democratic candidates.”

Ohio Republican Party Still Pursuing Frivolous Complaint Again John Patrick Carney

Entire Complaint Based on Jon Husted’s Incompetence

COLUMBUS- On Friday, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission alleging, under oath, that John Patrick Carney’s campaign for State Auditor was using the wrong disclaimer in the Carney campaign’s first paid television ad highlighting Carney’s record of bipartisan leadership in Ohio. However, as the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported, the entire complaint was due to the failure of Secretary of State’s office to update its online campaign finance database of a filing Carney’s campaign filed over a year ago.

Despite the fact that complaint has been proven to be entirely baseless, the Ohio Elections Commission confirmed that as of 9:00 a.m. today, the Ohio Republican Party has yet to withdraw the complaint. In response to the Ohio Republican Party’s refusal to dismiss its entirely baseless complaint, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern issued the following statement:

“The Republicans need to stop wasting the time of the Ohio Elections Commission and admit that their Chairman lied under oath in an entirely baseless, partisan attack.  And if they refuse, it’s time for State Auditor Dave Yost to denounce this complete waste of everyone’s time by his Party.”

BACKGROUND

Matt Borges was Yost’s campaign manager in 2010 despite admitting to engaging in improper use of a State office in a play-to-pay scandal in the State Treasurer’s Office in 2004. [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (5/14/12); Cincinnati Enquirer (7/28/04), “Deters cleared, aides guilty: Treasurer’s former chief of staff and fund-raiser plead.”]

After Last Minute Appeal by Ohio Republicans, Early Voting is Delayed

COLUMBUS- This afternoon, Monday, September 29th, 2014, the United States Supreme Court granted Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted’s motion for an emergency stay, placing early voting on hold–an eleventh hour change the night before early voting was set to begin. In response to the news that Early Vote won’t begin until October 7th, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“This year marks the ten-year anniversary of the disastrous 2004 election, when Ohio was thrust into the national spotlight for mismanagement of Ohio election rules and procedures, a national embarrassment and horrible experience for Ohio voters. These early voting hours and the availability of same-day registration were specifically created to address those problems, and thanks to DeWine and Husted, we are right back where we started. This is an unfortunate loss for Ohio voters, and the Ohio Republicans who have been fighting tooth-and-nail to erode early voting hours should be ashamed.”

Did Matt Borges Commit Perjury in Federal Court?

Longtime Political Consultant Terry Casey Testifies 

of Republican Plot to Block Libertarian Candidates from Ballot 

COLUMBUS – This morning, longtime Republican political consultant and Kasich Administration political appointee Terry Casey testified in federal court that he found someone with standing to challenge the Libertarian Party candidates’ petitions and hired the law firm who pushed Charlie Earl, the Libertarian Party candidate for Governor off the ballot.  While Casey denied the Kasich campaign “assigned” him the project, Casey admitted that he personally blind carbon copied top Kasich campaign staffers in emails about challenging Earl’s candidate petition.  In at least one email with Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office, Casey stated that he was, in fact, acting on behalf of the Kasich campaign, but today tried to claim he overstated the connection to draw attention to his email within the Secretary of State’s office.

Casey was appointed to chair the Ohio Board of Personnel Review by Governor Kasich shortly after taking office.  Casey is the former executive director of the Franklin County Party and now a media consultant for the party. [Source: Columbus Dispatch (1/22/2011), “Kasich alters order on work rights.”]  Casey worked on the Governor’s 2010 campaign and currently makes $70,000 a year from his appointment.  [Source:  Associated Press (9/2/2014), “Libertarians protest Kasich ties to ballot decision.”]

Back in February, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges told the press he was familiar with the challenge against Earl’s petition because “I think we were the ones that filed the complaint.”  [Source: Marc Kovac, Ohio Capital Blog (2/28/14), “Borges Gaggle 2 of 3”].   Borges later claimed that he misspoke and testified back in March that the party had nothing to do with the challenge, going as far as to say: “Anyone who’s looking for the conspiracy behind it – it’s just not there.”  [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (3/17/2014), “Ohio GOP chairman denies party involvement in challenges to Libertarian Charlie Earl’s candidacy.”]

In response to this latest development in Casey’s testimony, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“Today a longtime Kasich friend and senior Republican political operative testified he kept top Kasich campaign officials in the loop on his efforts to get the Libertarian candidate thrown off the ballot in order to help Governor John Kasich’s re-election efforts.  Both Matt Borges and the rest of Kasich’s re-election team took extraordinary efforts to publicly deny and hide their knowledge and involvement in blocking the Libertarian candidate from the ballot.  The question now is: was Matt Borges lying under oath when he denied any Republican involvement in this plot?”

Husted Ad Takes Credit For Following Federal Law

COLUMBUS – Today, Secretary of State Jon Husted aired his first ad of the campaign championing what his office has done to assist military voters.  However, what the ad fails to mention is that virtually everything Husted did was required by federal law after Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Military and Overseas Voting Empowerment (MOVE) Act of 2009, which amended the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

The MOVE Act mandated that States provide electronic access to military voters to the election process, mail absentee ballots to military voters 45 days before the election, and develop an electronic tracking system for military and overseas voters to check whether their ballots were received and counted.  In other words, the very things Husted is boasting in his ad are all things mandated by federal law.

In response to Husted’s campaign, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern issued the following statement:

“Given the number of times that federal courts have ruled that Jon Husted has violated the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act, it is pathetic that Husted is touting an instance in which he actually followed the law as if it were an achievement, not his duty.   Husted’s ad is tragically ironic given it airs the day after Husted and Mike DeWine filed an emergency motion with the U.S. Supreme Court to block active military voters, members of the Ohio National Guard, and our veterans from enjoying the early voting opportunities they’ve used in past elections.  Ohio deserves a Secretary of State that respects the laws and the voters like State Senator Nina Turner.”

An August poll conducted by Public Policy Polling on behalf of the Ohio Democratic Party showed Jon Husted narrowly ahead of Senator Nina Turner by 46% to 43%.

BACKGROUND

Yesterday, Jon Husted filed an emergency motion with the U.S. Supreme Court to block evening and weekend early voting hours from taking effect next week.  After losing both at the district court level and with an unanimous opinion by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Secretary of State Jon Husted filed an emergency motion with the United States Supreme Court asking the Court from blocking the restoration of weekend and early evening hours the federal courts have found Husted unconstitutionally took away from Ohio voters.  [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (9/25/2014), “Ohio asks Supreme Court to intervene in court fight over early voting.”]

Jon Husted supported cutting early voting days by a week.  According to the Columbus Dispatch, Secretary of State Husted recommends that “early voting would instead start 29 days before the election” but it end during the afternoon “the Sunday before the general election.”  Currently, Ohio law permits early voting for thirty-five days before the general election.  [Source: Columbus Dispatch, (10/24/2013), “Husted promotes limits on early voting.”

Federal courts had  already ruled that Husted’s prior attempts to cut general election early voting days were illegal when he tried to carve out an exception for military voters.  In 2012, the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Ohio ruled that Ohio could not cut off in-person early voting the Friday before the general election for all but active duty military voters.  Republicans attempted to reduce the number of days of early voting, but the Ohio General Assembly reversed them after HB 194 was threatened with a referendum campaign.  [Source: Reuters (8/31/12), “Court overturns Ohio early voting restrictions in win for Democrats.”]

The decision to declare Republicans’ attempt to cut off early voting before Election Day was unconstitutional was upheld by federal appellate courts.  The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s decision declaring the restriction “unconstitutional.”  “The court acknowledged an argument that ‘low-income and minority voters are disproportionately affected by elimination’ of the three days of polling for many voters and said ‘there is no definitive evidence… that elections boards would be tremendously burdened’ by returning poll access to the standard before recent changes to the state’s laws.”

[Source: CNN (10/5/2012), “Federal court upholds Ohio early voting ruling.”]

According to official records maintained by Jon Husted’s own office, more than 600,000 Ohioans used Early Voting in 2012. [Source: Ohio Secretary of State’s website, 2012 “Absentee Ballot Report.”]

The Prologue to “Johnny’s Story”

Wilmington Yet Another Example of Kasich Misrepresenting His Record

COLUMBUS – Yesterday, the Kasich-Taylor campaign released a new campaign ad titled “Johnny’s Story,” about the expansion of jobs at the Wilmington Air Park. However, the Kasich campaign left a few key details left on the cutting room floor. In fact, AMES wouldn’t be there today if the following hadn’t happened:

  • In 2009, 431 new jobs were created when AMES was awarded tax credits under the Strickland Administration, creating 431 new jobs. [Source: Ohio Department of Development, 2009 Job Creation Tax Credit Annual Report pg. 30.]  The following year, the Strickland Administration completed the transfer of the Air Park to the City of Wilmington and Clinton County Port Authority, putting the park in the communities’ ownership. [Source: Cincinnati Enquirer (11/11/2008), “Strickland pledges help.”]

The later expansion of AMES under Kasich would not have been possible without the initial actions by the Strickland Administration to bring AMES to the Air Park in 2009 in the first place and making it possible for AMES to take over the management of the Park in 2010.

  • The Kasich ad also neglects the fact that the administration literally raided other Ohio communities of jobs in order to claim it had brought jobs to Wilmington.  The Columbus Dispatch reported that “[t]wo months after celebrating with Gov. John Kasich over a state-sponsored tax deal to add jobs in Wilmington, TimberTech formally notified the state it will close its Columbus factory.” [Source: Columbus Dispatch (7/31/2013)]
  • And sadly, Clinton County’s economy is struggling under Kasich’s policies.  In August, the county had the 13th highest county unemployment rate in Ohio.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Clinton County is on the rise, higher now than it was in April, and there are less people employed in Clinton County than when Kasich took office.

In response to this latest Kasich campaign ad, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:

“Leave it to Governor John Kasich to ignore the fact that his own failed policies have hurt Ohio communities like Clinton County while taking credit in a campaign ad for the economic progress that was only possible because of Ted Strickland.  Ohio’s economy is stalling with Kasich behind the wheel.”

BACKGROUND

For the 21st straight month, Ohio’s job creation rate has been lower than the national average.  In reaction to the July jobs report, economic research analyst George Zeller noted, “July 2014 was the 21st consecutive month when Ohio’s job growth was slower than the U.S. national average, with the gap between Ohio’s rate and the U.S. rate increasing in July.” [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (8/15/2014), “Ohio lost 12,400 jobs in July: Unemployment rate up to 5.7%.”]

Illinois created more jobs in August alone that Ohio has so far this year.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio has created only 8,300 new jobs since January, which is less than the 13,800 jobs Illinois created in August alone.

Job creation under John Kasich in Ohio has lagged U.S. job growth.  In fact, at least 8 other governor’s terms since 1959 have seen stronger job growth than Ohio has seen so far under John Kasich.  [Source:  Cleveland Plain Dealer (8/5/2014), “Ohio lags U.S. jobs growth, as it has under a half-century of governors from John Kasich to Michael DiSalle.”]

In fact, Ohio’s job creation rate is substantially the lowest of any State in the region for the past year.  Ohio’s job creation rate for the past twelve months is half of West Virginia’s and nearly a third of Kentucky’s or Michigan’s, according to the Governor’s Office of Budget and Management.  [Source: Ohio Office of Budget & Management, September Monthly Financial Report, pg. 4]

When Kasich was elected Governor, Ohio’s job creation rate was nearly twice that of the national rate.  Now, Ohio’s ranked 41st in job creation with a rate less than a third of the national rate.  In November 2010, Ohio’s job creation rate was 1.02% compared to the national average of  .54%.  Now, Ohio is ranked 41st in the nation with a job growth rate  (.58%) lower than it was in 2010 and a third of the current national rate (1.84%). [Source: Arizona State University, W.P. Carey School of Business, “Job Growth USA” website (accessed 9/24/2014)]

Ohio actually had more jobs in April than August.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio had more jobs in April than it reported in July.  [Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (CES Survey, seasonally adjusted numbers (accessed at 8/18/2014).]

In 2010, Ohio created over 55,000 new jobs — more than it did in 2013 under Kasich.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio created 55,100 jobs in 2010, a year before Kasich took office, while only creating 50,400 jobs last year.  [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, CES Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 5/8/2014)].

Job gains under Kasich are in lower paying industries than the jobs lost in the recession.  “Weekly hourly earnings in the industries that showed employment gains since the recession in Ohio range from $12 to about $25 per hour,” [Veronica Kalich, an economics professor at Baldwin Wallace University] said, adding that professional and business services came in a little higher. “Employment has not recovered in the higher paying jobs.”  [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer, (7/7/2014), “Ohio has not recovered 120,000 jobs lost since the recession: some say number higher.”]

Unemployment rate drop has been fueled by people leaving the workforce, not job creation.  Since Kasich took office, Ohioans labor market has shrunk by 91,000.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statics, 91,000 Ohioans have dropped out of the labor market since Kasich took office. In 2014 so far alone, over 43,000 Ohioans dropped out of the labor market. [Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, LAUS Survey, seasonally adjusted (accessed 8/15/2014)]

Nationally, the country now has more jobs than it did at its pre-recession level.  With today’s national jobs report for May, the country now has more jobs than it did before the 2008 recession.  [Source: New York Times (6/6/2014), “In Jobs Report, Two Milestones.”]

Ohio Voters Win, Husted Wrong For The Umpteenth Time

It’s Time for Republican Secretary of State to Drop Suppression Attempts

COLUMBUS – In response to today’s U.S. Sixth Circuit decision upholding the federal district court decision declaring Jon Husted’s directive and other efforts to cut early voting in Ohio before the November general elections as an unconstitutional violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern issued the following statement:

“Jon Husted’s tenure as Secretary of State has been one partisan, unconstitutional scheme after another to make it harder for Ohioans to vote that has cost taxpayers over $400,000 in taxpayer money to defend.  With early voting beginning in just six days, it’s time for Jon Husted to drop any further appeals, as he has caused enough voter confusion already.  Ohioans deserve a Secretary of State that will fight for expansive voting opportunities for working middle class families, not contribute to voter confusion with last ditch appeals.  That is why Ohioans are looking to elect State Senator Nina Turner to be the next Secretary of State.”

An August poll conducted by Public Policy Polling on behalf of the Ohio Democratic Party showed Jon Husted narrowly ahead of Senator Nina Turner by 46% to 43%.

BACKGROUND

Three major Ohio editorials made it clear that these bills were being passed for no other reason than deny likely Democratic voters the vote before the 2014 election.  The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s editorial said that the measures “aim to limit voting by Ohioans who might vote for Democrats” and called passage of the bills “an affront to democracy” that allowed politicians to “pick their own voters.”  [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (2/19/2014), “Ohio House Republicans should walk away from bills aimed at decreasing the ease of voting in Ohio”]

The Toledo Blade editorial said the bills “would make it harder to vote among citizens whom GOP politicians would rather keep away from the polls.” On the GOP argument that the bills were need to fight “voter fraud,” the Blade noted “[t]hat argument would be more credible if those who make it could point to specific examples of fraud in Ohio voting that their measures would prevent. But they can’t offer evidence of systematic fraud, because it doesn’t exist.  These bad measures aren’t as blatant as the poll taxes and literacy tests that Southern elections officials used during the civil rights era a half-century ago to keep African-Americans from voting. But their effect is largely, and intolerably, the same, and their approval would seem to invite court challenges under federal voting rights law.” [Source: Toledo Blade (2/19/14), “Don’t suppress the vote”]

The Akron Beacon Journal editorial noted that the Republicans decided that “[r]ather than work in a bipartisan way on a comprehensive overhaul of election laws, the Republican-run legislature has proceeded on its own unfortunate course. This week, the Ohio House is working on bills that push aside important priorities and contain flaws that would make voting more difficult.” [Source: Akron Beacon Journal (2/18/2014), “Election partisans”]

Jon Husted supported cutting early voting days by a week.  According to the Columbus Dispatch, Secretary of State Husted recommends that “early voting would instead start 29 days before the election” but it end during the afternoon “the Sunday before the general election.”  Currently, Ohio law permits early voting for thirty-five days before the general election.  [Source: Columbus Dispatch, (10/24/2013), “Husted promotes limits on early voting.”

Federal courts had  already ruled that Husted’s prior attempts to cut general election early voting days were illegal.  In 2012, the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Ohio ruled that Ohio could not cut off early voting the Friday before the general election.  Republicans attempted to reduce the number of days of early voting, but the Ohio General Assembly reversed them after HB 194 was threatened with a referendum campaign.  [Source: Reuters (8/31/12), “Court overturns Ohio early voting restrictions in win for Democrats.”]

The decision to declare Republicans’ attempt to cut off early voting before Election Day was unconstitutional was upheld by federal appellate courts.  The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s decision declaring the restriction “unconstitutional.”  “The court acknowledged an argument that ‘low-income and minority voters are disproportionately affected by elimination’ of the three days of polling for many voters and said ‘there is no definitive evidence… that elections boards would be tremendously burdened’ by returning poll access to the standard before recent changes to the state’s laws.”

[Source: CNN (10/5/2012), “Federal court upholds Ohio early voting ruling.”]

According to official records maintained by Jon Husted’s own office, more than 600,000 Ohioans used Early Voting in 2012. [Source: Ohio Secretary of State’s website, 2012 “Absentee Ballot Report.”]

Paid for and authorized by the Ohio Democratic Party, not authorized by any federal candidate or campaign committee. Chris Redfern, Chairman, 340 East Fulton St, Columbus, Ohio 43215.