Judge Watson found that eliminating “Golden Week” imposed a disproportionate burden on African-American voters, and the judge’s order states that eliminating “Golden Week” was unconstitutional and a violation of the Voting Rights Act because of the burden it placed on African-American voters.
“Today’s decision is a huge win for Ohio voters, who will now have the original window for early voting restored, along with ability to register to vote and cast their ballot on the same day,” said Pepper. “In 2012, more than 80,000 Ohioans cast a ballot during ‘Golden Week,’ and of those, more than 14,000 were new or updated registrations.
“It’s a shame that once again our legislature, governor, attorney general and secretary of state cannot figure out how to abide by the constitutional rights of their own voters. The judge found no merit in any of their justifications for the burden they placed on African American voters. How many losses in court, and how many wasted tax dollars, are going to convince them to respect Ohioans’ right to vote?”
From the findings of fact:
“EIP [early in-person] voting in homogenous black blocks was 4.316 times higher than homogenous white blocks in 2008… 4.4476 times higher in 2012… usage rates of Golden Week specifically were far higher among African Americans than among whites in both 2008 and 2012… In other words, in 2008, for example, ‘the rate of voting early in person during golden week is three and a half times greater in homogenous black blocks than homogenous white blocks.’”
We need 5,000 signatures to send a message
to the GOP to end their efforts
to make it harder to vote.
Add your name today!
5.18.16 - We’ve seen the GOP’s scheme to win elections play out in states across the country. They pass laws to discourage voters who don’t agree with them -- and Republicans openly admit they’re doing this for partisan political gain.
We need to stand up and say NO MORE!
Right here in Ohio, Senate Republicans just passed a bill that would create a modern-day poll tax. Legislative Democrats are fighting back, but they need your support to keep up the fight.
Join Democrats and raise your voice
to say NO MORE to the GOP’s attacks
on our sacred right to vote!
Add your name right away!
Kathleen Clyde: Switch to online voter registration now
4.12.16 - Back in 2002, there were no smartphones or iPhones yet. Friends was still on TV. Men in Black and Austin Powers were in the movie theaters. And Arizona was the first state to adopt online voter registration. Fourteen years later, 31 other states and the District of Columbia have enacted online voter registration, but Ohio is not one of them. We still make our list of voters the old-fashioned, messy, error-prone way: with paper, pens, mail and staff laboriously typing it all into a county database.
Four years ago, before the 2012 presidential election, Secretary of State Jon Husted began offering online voter registration, but he only made it available for address updates by those who are already registered to vote. I’ve urged him many times to open the system to all Ohioans — including new registrants.
Current Ohio law provides a single process for both new registrations and updates. And because an update is the same thing as a new registration under the law, there is no legal reason to allow updates online but not new registrations.
The benefits of online voter registration are huge. They include greater accessibility for voters, convenience for election officials, cost-savings, greater speed and accuracy in processing, and the ability to link to this system from every government website.
In addition, online voter registration eliminates many of the problems that exist with our antiquated system including printer and processing errors, postage costs, slow mail delivery and postmark glitches. So to me, the move to online voter registration just makes sense. There is just no reason to let these sorts of problems continue to affect the making of the list of who can vote in Ohio, particularly when a system to allow online voter registration is already in place.
So when Secretary Husted recently came to testify in my House committee, I again urged him to switch it on for all Ohioans. But he said no, claiming that he did not have the authority to give everyone online registration because he needed a new law to transfer a signature from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Yet this argument rings hollow because signatures are required for voter registration updates which the secretary currently allows to be done online.
In addition, Secretary Husted could accept signatures in multiple other ways. Delaware, for example, allows voters to provide their signature through the BMV, by signing a tablet computer screen or by sending a photo of the signature. And, finally, allowing online voter registration is not the kind of action that requires new legislation. Several states that have implemented or enacted online voter registration have done so without new legislation — including our close neighbor Pennsylvania.
Of course, if we want to continue to live with the current problems in an outdated system, we could wait for new legislation. And I have indicated that I would support legislative action if it was done expeditiously. But the legislature, like the secretary, has been dragging its feet on this issue without any real reason.
So at this point it is simply irresponsible for Secretary Husted to wait for the legislature to pass a law that is not needed in order to switch on online voter registration that is exactly what Ohio needs. There is too much at stake.
In this presidential election year, Ohio will once again face intense scrutiny regarding its voting system. So it is especially important that we in Ohio make sure that we are at the forefront of effective, efficient and inclusive election reform and not at the bottom of the ladder.
Secretary Husted could switch on online voter registration for Ohio, joining 31 other states and the District of Columbia. And with that one switch he could move Ohio into the modern era. It is the responsible and lawful thing to do.
Sometimes it is fun to think back. Reruns of Friends are still great to watch and Men in Black and Austin Powers still make us laugh. But there is nothing nostalgic in re-running old election errors. On that issue, it is time for us to think forward.
Secretary Husted should Switch It On for all Ohioans.
Clyde represents the 75th District in the Ohio House.
The district covers Kent, Ravenna and the rest of southern Portage County.
Judge: 17-year-olds can vote in Ohio primary
3.11.16 - COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An Ohio judge issued an order to allow 17-year-olds to vote in swing state's presidential primary.
Ohio allows 17-year-olds who will be 18 before the fall election to vote in Tuesday's primary, with some limits. For instance, they can't vote on ballot issues, but can decide on congressional, legislative and mayoral contenders.
Whether the teens can vote in the presidential primary race had been under dispute.
The state's Republican elections chief had said Ohio rules don't permit it. He says the 17-year-olds can only nominate candidates, and not "elect" delegates to a presidential nominating convention.
Nine teen voters had sued over Secretary of State Jon Husted's interpretation.
On Friday, a Franklin County judge granted the teens' request to block Husted's instructions that forbid the 17-year-olds from voting in the presidential primary.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted released the following statement regarding today’s ruling in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas decision to overrule state law and reverse decades of election law precedent by allowing 17-year-olds to cast ballots in Ohio’s 2016 Presidential Primary Election:
“This last minute legislating from the bench on election law has to stop. Our system cannot give one county court the power to change 30 years of election law for the entire state of Ohio, 23 days into early voting and only four days before an election.”
Husted also said he planned to appeal the ruling. but later Friday evening, Husted released another statement, saying he would not appeal.
Ohio's elections chief now says he won't appeal a judge's ruling that allows 17-year-olds to vote in the swing state's presidential primary. The move from Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted comes after a state appeals court had set a Monday hearing in the case ahead of Tuesday's election.
Husted spokesman Josh Eck tells The Associated Press that does not leave enough time for officials to properly administer the election for the 17-year-old voters. He says, for the sake of good elections, the secretary of state won't appeal the ruling.
The Ohio Democratic Party released the following statement today in response to the ruling against Secretary of State Jon Husted by Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Frye allowing registered voters who will be 18 before the general election to vote for their chosen presidential candidate:
“We were confident that Secretary Husted’s directive barring young Ohioans from voting for their chosen presidential candidate would not hold up in court, but it's still a shame it came to this,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper.
“We urge Husted and Attorney General Mike DeWine not to appeal this ruling. Young Ohioans deserve to have a say in whom they want to lead our country. The Ohio Democratic Party will continue to support greater voter participation -- regardless of party. We’ve never solved a problem with less democracy.”
Clyde Issues Statement On Lawsuit Challenging Disenfranchisement Of 17-year-old Voters
Clyde Criticizes New, Backroom Attack On
Student Access To Polls
3.04.16 - State Representative Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) says latest attack on voters’ rights prevents young people from having say in direction of their country.
State Representative Clyde today issued a response to Secretary of State Jon Husted’s directive that excludes 17-year-olds from presidential primary voting. Ohio has
permitted those who will be 18 years old before the November election to vote in the presidential primary since 1981.
“I was astonished to learn that 17-year-old Ohioans who will legally become adults before the November election are now being prohibited from having a say in the direction of their country at the presidential ballot box during the primary. Ohio’s pro-voter practice that welcomes young adults into the process has been on the books since 1981,” said Clyde.
After examining current law and past directives, Clyde says no precedent exists for Husted’s new voter exclusion. The new order that excludes 17-year-olds from voting for a presidential nominee is here on page 7-6. The non-partisan elections advocacy group Fair Vote also disagrees with Husted’s new decree.
“Secretary Husted’s latest underhanded, backroom attack on our most fundamental freedom should have us all concerned – about this and about his repeated claims he has made it easier to vote in Ohio – when in fact he continues to find ways to make it harder,” Clyde continued.
Rep. Clyde has also repeatedly asked Secretary Husted to use his authority under current law to switch on online voter registration for all Ohioans, and to fix the growing problem of rejecting ballots due to postmark problems.