10.20.2008

Voter Suppression Shuffle in Cincinnati

Let’s dance!

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has jumped into the alleged voter registration fraud campaign being conducted nationwide against newly registered voters. Deters has convened a grand jury and has subpoenaed the records for about 40% of the new voters, in order to check them out. But he says it’s not political. He is just doing his job as the lawyer of record for the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

Deters has long had a habit of using the power of his office to intimidate anyone who disagrees with his version of what should be the status quo. What is his status quo? Republicans in charge, poor people invisible and black people in jail.

Republicans across the nation have been going after ACORN, a grassroots organization that has reportedly registered more than one million new voters, with most of them leaning toward Barack Obama.

Here in Ohio, the GOP first attacked early voting...then the window that allows folks to register and vote all on the same day. The Republicans filed suit in state, and federal courts. The sixth circuit court of appeals tried to force the State of Ohio to make up an entirely new system for checking voter registration. The new system duplicates one already in place and functioning. Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner filed a motion with the United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the land. SUPCO backed Brunner and the State of Ohio.

Yet the GOP and Joe Deters are not content to let the matter rest.

Elections officials have said throughout this farce that many of the questionable registrations were initially flagged by ACORN itself. Officials also say that many of the troubles on the new registrations are the result of erroneous entry by elections officials who key in the info to the computer. In other words, a faulty registration is not a concrete indication of fraud. It’s not even fraud until or unless “Mickey Mouse” shows up to vote. Casting the vote or attempting to cast the vote, is fraud. What we have now, is a scenario that means elections officials simply have to be left alone to do what they are paid to do.

Yet, Deters, and other Sheriffs and County prosecutors around Ohio are wasting taxpayer money chasing ghosts in an attempt to once again steal an election for their chosen candidate. And make no mistake about it, Deters colors are fully visible. He is chairman of the southwest Ohio campaign for McCain/Palin.

If he were really doing his job, he would have stepped aside and allowed the appointment of an independent counsel or prosecutor of some kind to handle the situation, if he deemed it so reprehensible that it needs immediate attention from law enforcement.

One note, national voting statistics do track voter fraud. Records show that from 2000-2005 there was exactly one case of voter fraud, nationally. Just one..Today there is another one, a guy hired by the republican party in California to register voters. He has been arrested for allegedly tricking people into changing their party affiliation by telling them that the papers they were signing was a petition to get tougher on child molesters.

The Hamilton County Board of Elections is holding a special meeting today. I hope common sense rules and someone is able to tell Joe Deters to go back to his office, close the door, sit down and shut up for a change.
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