Ohio Election Being StolenBarack Obama's supporters in Ohio have managed to rig up an unprecedented month-long early voting period in order to maximize the amount of votes that Barack Obama might receive there. The Obama camp isn't missing a beat, of course-they are doing everything they can to cart every voter that they perceive as one of their own to the polls.
"But Oatney," you say, "it is just early voting, what's the big deal?"
Having voted in Ohio elections before and being quite familiar with laws, rules, and customs as they relate to voting in Ohio, I can tell you that early voting as we understand it in Tennessee is something completely new in Ohio. Sure, you could request an absentee ballot, and even cast one early at your county Board of Elections. However, to do this you had to either send a written request for an absentee ballot and recieve it by mail, or you had to go to the Board of Elections with some rudamentary "proof" that you could not be present on Election Day to cast your ballot. Election law has since been changed since I voted in Ohio to allow anyone to request an absentee ballot without giving a reason, and this opened the door for early voting in Ohio.
Under the country's most partisan Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, not only is early voting welcomed in Ohio, but the early voting period began September 30. This is unheard of, because in times not too long past absentee ballots weren't even sent out until at least 30 days prior to an election.
I don't favor disenfranchising anyone and yes, I believe everyone should have the opportunity to vote if they choose. If these changes help bring about greater participation, so be it. However, there are rules and laws that must be abided by when voting, and in the Land of Brunner, Democratic ballots should be counted even if we stretch the rules by allowing not only early voting, but voting before many voters are fully informed. Meanwhile, Brunner and her Democratic allies want every vote to be counted-except Republican votes:
Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has a reputation as the most partisan state official in Ohio. And she works hard to earn it. The Democrat's latest stunt rejected absentee ballots for thousands of Republicans.
Brunner sent a memo telling county election officials to reject those applications for absentee ballots if the box was not checked. "Failure to check the box leaves both the applicant and the board of elections without verification that the applicant is a 'qualified elector'," she wrote.
But that's contrary to state law and Brunner doesn't have the authority, according to the lawsuit and an opinion from Hamilton County's Republican Prosecutor Joe Deters.
There is nothing in the law about checking a box to verify a qualified voter. The voter's signature is enough, because that's what is checked to send ballots, said Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Greg Hartmann, who ran against Brunner in 2006 and is now county chairman for the McCain-Palin campaign. "It's just bald partisanship," he said. "She's trying to disqualify likely McCain voters."
Brunner said, "While state law does not require a check box, the McCain-Palin campaign designed its form to require that voters check a box to affirmatively state they are qualified electors."
So Brunner wants to abide by a campaign mailer, and not the laws of the State of Ohio? No wonder Barack Obama said "it helps that in Ohio we've got Democrats in charge of the machines." The same Democrats who have been known to vote the dearly departed in Toledo and Cleveland in years gone by? How comforting!
I was always given the impression that the Democratic Party wanted people to vote. I understand now-they just want their people to vote.
My last Ohio election was one that I knew would be my last-I knew that I was coming to Tennessee because my wife wanted to come home, but I wanted to cast my vote in one last election in Ohio. That election was November of 2004...
I don't think I will ever forget that day because we lived right down the street from the Westwood Library in Cincinnati where we voted. The lines were a mile long, but a lady we went to church with at St. Catharine of Siena was a poll worker and she saw Nicole and myself coming, walker and all, and we got to buck the line. Nicole and I also had the day off that day, and after voting we went out to a very nice lunch.
I was a registered Republican when I lived in Ohio. A study of my voting history would have revealed that I never once cast a Democratic ballot in any primary there at any time-ever. Nicole, however, chose not to register a party because she knew she would return to Tennessee, and she preferred not to participate in Ohio primaries. Under Ohio law, she was in the books as independent or having no party affiliation-and after lunch the calls began. People from the Kerry campaign kept calling and calling asking if she had voted, did she need a ride to the polls? Yes, she would kindly respond, she had voted, she did not need a ride. My name was on the same precinct role as hers was, and I appeared just above her. If anyone had needed a ride, it would have been me. I have a disability, and might have needed to be driven to the polling place. I never got a call from anyone asking if I needed a ride. Why? Next to my name on the role was a parenthesis: (R). The last time someone called, Nicole tersely said "yes, I have voted, and I voted for Bush."
The Ohio Democratic Party is and always has been one of the most corrupt party political organizations in the nation. It is run by the worst sort of scoundrels and socio-political lowlifes who care nothing about breaking the law so long as they can somehow benefit from it. Since I have a number of Democratic friends in Ohio, I always tried to look to these good people as hope that somehow the Ohio Democrats, while not reforming their political ideas, might come to embrace fair and free elections-a concept that has been alien to the Ohio Democratic Party for much of the last century.
With Ms. Brunner, what we see in Ohio is not a free election, but a Soviet-style fix. One where, to quote the comedian Yakov Smirnoff: "We have secret ballots too-they are secret from us."