'via Blog this'
The Ohio House, dominated by Republicans, is trying to pull a fast one on Ohio voters, and still keep Democratic-leaning voters away from the polls in this critical election in a decisive state.
Last June, the legislature passed House Bill 194, to restrict early voting, prohibit counties from sending absentee ballot applications to registered voters, and eliminate the requirement for poll workers to help voters find their correct polling place, among other restrictions. In September of last year, Fair Elections Ohio succeeded in getting enough signatures to get a referendum on the new law on November's ballot, effectively nullifying the law for the 2012 election.
The Republican-dominated legislature didn't want its voter suppression work entirely undone, so it has now passed a repeal of the law to prevent voters from killing it entirely.
"By taking the action that we're proposing to take today, we discourage people in the future from taking advantage of the initiative and referendum right," Rep. Dennis Murray, a Democrat from Sandusky, said on the House floor. "This goes fundamentally to the question of who it is in this state that holds the power of government. I think that's the people of this state, and I think the action we're taking today violates the constitution." [...]LP - Why does one side consistently want to block the franchise.
Democrats and voting rights advocates argued the legislation is not a "clean" repeal of HB 194 because it leaves in place a prohibition on in-person early voting the weekend before an election. The restriction will remain in effect because it was duplicated in a separate bill.