COLUMBUS — The Ohio Democratic Party released the following statement from Chairman David Pepper on Gov. John Kasich’s comments on Fox News this morning and Secretary of State Jon Husted’s comments yesterday regarding access to voting in Ohio:
“When Governor Kasich says it’s ‘demagoguery’ to fight for expanded access to the polls, he’s the one being divisive. The act of voting is essential to our idea of America, and our democracy is better when every citizen can participate. Wanting more people to vote and modernizing elections doesn’t divide Americans; it unites them.
“When Kasich and Secretary of State Jon Husted tout Ohio voting laws, they leave out a key fact — Ohio’s voting laws are what they are today because civil rights groups, community leaders and Ohio Democrats have taken Husted and the state to court over and over again to stop numerous attacks on voting rights. And we have won, repeatedly stopping unconstitutional laws and tactics before they took effect. It’s gotten so bad that a court found Husted personally liable for his action.
“It’s a shame that Husted and Kasich are making voting a partisan issue. It shouldn’t be one. When President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act 50 years ago, he got it passed with the help of Republicans in Congress. When Ohio had difficulties with the 2004 election, legislative Republicans and Democrats worked together to expand access to the polls. We could use more of that spirit of unity from Ohio Republicans today.”