Friday, October 29, 2004

A Few Good Men

The story of the Ohio GOP's attempt to disenfranchise legal voters with virtually no proof that there was anything wrong with their registration has been kicked around the blogosphere for awhile now. I wouldn't post simply to add my voice to the chorus of responsible bloggers expressing their disgust at the Republican's hideous tactics (though I do agree they are hideous). I'd just like to note the actions of a few good Republican men who resisted their party's eviler impulses and stood up for democracy.
When Catherine Herold received mail from the Ohio Republican Party earlier this year, she refused it.

The longtime Barberton Democrat wanted no part of the mailing and figured that by refusing it, the GOP would have to pay the return postage.

What she didn't count on was the returned mail being used to challenge the validity of her voter registration.

Herold,who is assistant to the senior vice president and provost at the University of Akron,was one of 976 Summit County voters whose registrations were challenged last week by local Republicans on behalf of the state party.

She went to the Board of Elections on Thursday morning to defend her right to vote and found herself among an angry mob -- people who had to take time off work to defend their right to vote.

After hearing some of the protests, the board voted unanimously to dismiss all 976 challenges.

The move, ironically, came from Republican board member Joseph Hutchinson and was seconded by Republican Alex Arshinkoff after they determined that the four local Republicans who made the challenges had no evidence to back up their claims.
Arshinkoff, chairman of the Summit County GOP, pointed to the state party and said Chairman Robert Bennett should be held accountable.
Pry and elections board member Wayne Jones said after the hearing that they intend to contact the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the challenges.

"You don't mess with somebody's right to vote," Jones said. He believes the effort to challenge legitimate voters is proof that Republicans are running scared in Ohio.

Arshinkoff and Hutchinson were obviously angry with the state party.

Arshinkoff compared the proceedings to a "train wreck" and said representatives from the Ohio Republican Party should have been at the hearing to defend the lists of challenges that it prepared.

Kudos to these brave board members, especially Mr. Arshinkoff, who, as the chairman of the county GOP, probably will face an enormous backlash from party bigwigs for his courage and commitment to justice.

Just when you think nobody cares about fairness and democracy anymore, something like this shows up. My profound thanks to all the members of the board who stood up for America, and the voters who refused to stand idly by and watch their voices be suppressed.

And for the record, I do hope the Republican hacks who brought the challanges are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

1 comment:

Randomscrub said...

Why is it necessary for these people to be "hacks?" It is possible to hold valid concerns about fraud (hmmm... this voter cannot be found by the USPS... do they even exist?) and be flat wrong. Bad motives are possible, but by no means necessary. Keep in mind also that there are several potential attempts at voter fraud this year, and just because the Republicans were wrong about one doesn't mean they're all wrong:

And the democrats have already launched several lawsuits of their own: