An Ohio GOP election official who voted against the weekend voting rules that enabled thousands to cast ballots in the 2008 election said Sunday that he did not think that the state’s early voting procedures should accommodate African-Americans. Doug Preisse, chairman of the Republican Party in Franklin County, which contains the city of Columbus, admitted in an email to the Columbus Dispatch that black voters would now have a more difficult time voting:
I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine. Let’s be fair and reasonable.
Priesse is a member of the board of elections for Franklin County, which includes Columbus, and chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party. Priesse was one of the members who blocked Democratic efforts in Franklin County to expand voting hours to evenings and weekends. According to the Dispatch, he called claims of unfairness “bullshit. Quote me!”
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, on Wednesday ordered all 88 counties in Ohio to allow early voting Monday through Friday, until 7 p.m., during the final two weeks before the election. Weekend voting, however, will not be allowed.
Weekend voting helped 93,000 Ohioans cast ballots in the final three days before the 2008 election and early voters in 2008 in Cuyahoga and Franklin counties were disproportionately African-American. A study by Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates found blacks accounted for 56 percent of all in-person early votes in Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, while they accounted for 26 percent of votes overall. In Franklin County, African-Americans cast 31 percent of early votes and 21 percent of votes overall.
Voting should accommodate everyone — members of the armed forces, voters who will be absent during the voting period, working people whose hours make voting difficult, the disabled, the old, college students, everyone. We should be making the ability to vote more accessible — not less.This is proof that the Republican party is actively working to disenfranchise specific Americans who traditionally vote Democratic.
This is racism at its best and it disgusts me. It is clear that the Republican party is okay winning by any means necessary. They have proved they are not above buying, blocking or out right stealing this election. Are we really supposed to believe that once in office they will actually care about the citizenry they govern?
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