Friday, September 22, 2006
Organized voter suppression?
After repeated warnings, it sounds to us like Kenny decided to ignore the NVRA:
DJFS offices in ten Ohio counties (Erie, Guernsey, Jefferson, Medina, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Ross, Washington and Wyandot) did not register a single voter in the 2002-2004 reporting period.Let's not forget about the big counties, too:
DJFS offices in another 17 counties (Ashland, Clermont, Coshocton, Hancock, Hardin, Hocking, Jackson, Licking, Logan, Lorain, Mercer, Monroe, Perry, Pickaway, Richland, Seneca, and Union) collected fewer than ten voter registrations; and DJFS offices in 32 additional counties (Adams, Auglaize, Brown, Butler, Champaign, Crawford, Fayette, Fulton, Geauga, Harrison, Henry, Holmes, Huron, Lake, Madison, Meigs, Montgomery, Noble, Ottawa, Paulding, Pike, Putnam, Sandusky, Scioto, Shelby, Summit, Vinton, Warren, Wayne, Williams and Wood) submitted fewer than 100 registrations during the same time period.
A comparison between counties is instructive as to the failure to provide voter registration services in the public assistance offices that serve the largest numbers of public assistance recipients in the state. Of the DJFS voter registrations processed in the 2002-2004 period, 1,027 were collected in Athens County (a rural county of approximately 60,000 residents in southeast Ohio ) and 1,044 were collected in Marion County (a county of approximately 65,000 residents in central Ohio ). Each of those small county DJFS offices collected more voter registration application forms than did their counterparts in such highly populated counties as Franklin, Hamilton, Montgomery, and Summit Counties, each of which has more than 500,000 residents and exceeds the statewide percentage of persons below the poverty line. Indeed, Hamilton County includes the city of Cincinnati, which the United States Census Bureau has identified as having the ninth highest poverty rate of all large cities in the country. These four highly populated counties registered a combined total of just 1,686 voters at DJFS offices. This comparison shows that if the state were complying with the NVRA, thousands more eligible citizens would be registered to vote in Ohio.By the way, the NVRA requires that when people seek public assistance they must be asked if they want to register to vote and be provided with a registration form.