Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is a man on a mission: to deliver the presidency to Mitt Romney. Unlike Romney’s many aides and volunteers, Husted can actually affect the outcome of the election by directly disenfranchising voters. First Husted eliminated all early voting on weekends. A court ordered him to reinstate early voting for the weekend before the election, which he unsuccessfully appealed. He also wanted to make that last weekend only for military voters. No, he wasn’t trying to win a contest for most obviously unconstitutional, partisan request, he was just trying to win the election.
Filing a provisional ballot? That means you 1) skew liberal and 2) had better get every confusing detail right or your vote is getting thrown out. Voters have to correctly identify the type of ID they are using (and yeah, they need a government-issued picture ID) or else they won’t have voted.
With that as context, consider this disturbing piece of news: the Secretary of State’s office had “experimental” software patches installed in voting machines in up to 39 counties. With no review. The software is intended to reduce the amount of manual data entry that poll workers would have to do, by loading in big chunks of data onto thumb drives.
And that may be all there is to it. If Husted had a clean record of sensible, non-partisan decisions, there would be no reason to be sketched out by this. In fact, digitizing our voting system seems a positive, inevitable step down the road. However, Husted has actively tried to reduce early voting when he knew that early voters would likely be coming out in record numbers. He has already shown his hand here. In the interest of democracy, every move he makes should be scrutinized, especially INSTALLING AN EXPERIMENTAL UNREGULATED PROGRAM IN VOTING MACHINES A MONTH BEFORE A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
Excuse the screaming, it will settle down once Husted stops doing things that scream, “I am trying to steal this election.”