Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R)
Ohio's Republican Secretary of State, Jon Husted, has invested an enormous amount of time and energy into putting new barriers between voters and their democracy, though as we've reported several times in recent months, his efforts have often been rejected by courts.
But Husted isn't quite finished.
Four days before Election Day, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted emphasized to boards of elections a step that voters who use provisional ballots on Tuesday will have to take.
Voters will be obligated to write on the provisional ballot form what type of ID they show at the polls and not rely on poll workers to do it for them, according to the directive issued late Friday afternoon.
Andrew Cohen, a legal analyst for The Atlantic, walks through what's transpired.
On Thursday, voting-rights advocates filed an "emergency motion" with a federal trial judge seeking his reassurance that provisional ballots in Ohio will be judged by the standard he endorsed (and Ohio reportedly agreed to) in a recent consent decree. That standard, the plaintiffs say, is "that a provisional-ballot form that has incomplete or improperly completed information regarding the type of identification proffered by a voter should be counted pursuant" to Ohio law, which, they say, makes the poll worker responsible for taking down the information. Here's a link to that motion.
Ohio has not yet responded to it with a filing in court -- the state's deadline is Monday. But it was a full dayafter this motion was filed that the secretary of state, at 6 p.m. on the Friday before the election, issued his contrary directive, the text of which you can read in this timely piece by Judd Legum.
Ari Berman, who's done some terrific reporting on this issue all year, said this new Republican voter-suppression tactic "could delay the outcome of the election and the legitimacy of the final vote," and even has the potential to "swing Ohio" to Romney/Ryan.