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Ohio voting turmoil. Again.
August 10, 2012 9:49 AM   Subscribe

As a consequence of the 2008 election, Ohio Republicans cut early voting back for the upcoming election from 35 days to 11 days, with the three days right before the election eliminated. Now, they've gone even further.

For the 2012 November election, in heavily Democratic cities like Cleveland, Columbus, Akron and Toledo, early voting hours will be limited to 8 am until 5 pm on weekdays beginning on October 1, with no voting at night or during the weekend, when it’s most convenient for working people to vote. Yet in solidly Republican counties like Warren and Butler, GOP election commissioners have approved expanded early voting hours on nights and weekends.

In Cleveland's Cuyahoga County, African Americans make up 28 percent of the population but were 56 percent of early voters in 2008. In Columbus's Franklin County, they make up 20 percent of the population but were 34 percent of early voters.

A report by the Democratic National Committee estimated that 174,000 voters left the queues in 2004, waiting to vote. George W. Bush won in Ohio with 118,000 votes. Subsequently, Ohio added 35 early-voting days to the election calendar and 2008 went much smoother. Barack Obama won a majority of the votes in Ohio.

The Obama campaign has filed suit in Federal court in Columbus to extend early voting days.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (92 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is my surprised face.
posted by mfu at 9:50 AM on August 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


Republicans really don't think much of the whole democracy thing, do they?
posted by octothorpe at 9:52 AM on August 10, 2012 [45 favorites]


I think you got it wrong. The Obama campaign is filing suit to TAKE AWAY THE FREEDOMS OF OUR SOLDIERS.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:53 AM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


If we let just any Joe Schmoe vote, the entire system will fall apart. And there will be Muslims!
posted by Foam Pants at 9:54 AM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is fundamentally different from other voter suppression tactics in other states. Elsewhere, voter ID laws claim to fight the non-existing problem of voter fraud. But in Ohio the threat of black people is very real.
posted by munchingzombie at 9:55 AM on August 10, 2012 [14 favorites]


State by state map of early voting reductions and states where excuses are still required for absentee voting.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 9:56 AM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here's the thing. Republicans have been this way a long time now. But, pre-Bush, they at least tried to be subtle about things. Bush and Cheney showed that you can just do things out in the open. If you don't get called out on it, then you just step it up on the next thing. Lather, rinse, repeat.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:56 AM on August 10, 2012 [9 favorites]


[We do not do that ironic racism thing here, do not do that here. Thank you.]
posted by jessamyn at 9:56 AM on August 10, 2012 [15 favorites]


Republicans really don't think much of the whole democracy thing, do they?

Scott Brown was just lamenting yesterday that we're spending taxpayer money to register the poors to vote.

But as long as you're a landowning white male, you're fine.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:58 AM on August 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


How do you know when Romney is lying?

Yes, it's an old joke but it's never been more true.
posted by fungible at 10:00 AM on August 10, 2012


But as long as you're a landowning white male, you're fine.

GOP to black voters: You've come a long way, son, but you're still only 3/5 of the way there.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:00 AM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Republicans: Against Voting
posted by odinsdream at 10:01 AM on August 10, 2012


Help! Help! I'm being repressed!
posted by ChuraChura at 10:01 AM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


The electoral votes from neither Ohio nor Florida have been decided in anything even approaching a democratic fashion in over a decade now...we should probably just get over it and consider those states an exciting new randomized "wild card" in our presidential selection process now (there seems little hope or genuine interest among the powerful in ever fixing either).
posted by trackofalljades at 10:03 AM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is such a trainwreck. I know what's coming, but I can't stop watching.

Any bets on what Romney's October Surprise will be?
posted by spitefulcrow at 10:11 AM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


trackofalljades: we should probably just get over it and consider those states an exciting new randomized "wild card" in our presidential selection process now

That has some negative connotations, though. I took a marketing class in college, let's see... how about we consider them a "powerball"?
posted by gilrain at 10:11 AM on August 10, 2012


Any bets on what Romney's October Surprise will be?

He knows the way to Kolob and will lead us there, Cylons be damned.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:14 AM on August 10, 2012 [26 favorites]


...then he starts humming All Along the Watchtower, for no real reason.
posted by gilrain at 10:16 AM on August 10, 2012 [9 favorites]


What's funny is they don't even try to hide their dishonesty, borderline illegal tactics, bullying and corruption anymore and people still believe them.

I am 100% convinced that the current GOP are not surviving on their own (nonexistent) merits any more but rather on:

1. a huge swath of people feeling totally disenfranchised but so totally brainwashed from so many years of being told that the "left" is trying to turn the country into a super scary dystopian society, who,

2. when faced with the actual facts, cannot accept them because it would mean that they've been wrong and misinformed this whole time and their whole worldview would be shattered. So they unconciously cling to these views at all costs.

The GOP is making real structural changes to this country that will outlast any of them, even if they do get kicked out of office, and the country is being inexorably being moved to the right. I don't hold much hope of any meaningful change anytime soon. I would love it if someone could prove me wrong.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:16 AM on August 10, 2012 [26 favorites]


How awesome are your ideas if the only way you can have a shot at winning is to disenfranchise people?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:21 AM on August 10, 2012 [24 favorites]


Fortunately, I can still vote via absentee ballot:

"Who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot?

Any qualified Ohio voter whose registration information is up to date may request and vote an absentee ballot without stating a reason."

You have to re-apply for the application each year. Which is stupid.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 10:22 AM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


As an Oregon resident, I'm curious as to why all states don't just move to the vote-by-mail system. I get to vote while sitting on my toilet and drinking a beer. More importantly, I get like 2 weeks to decide and get it in, regardless of when I work, with several places to drop it off, or just buy a stamp.

Actually going to the ballot seems arcane at this point.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:33 AM on August 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


How awesome are your ideas if the only way you can have a shot at winning is to disenfranchise people.

Oligarchy has never been about ideas.
posted by R. Schlock at 10:34 AM on August 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's sad how the self proclaimed leaders of the free world keep finding ways to chip away at the legitimacy of elections. The US is just a couple of Bush v Gore incidents away from needing to call in monitors from the United Nations.
posted by ceribus peribus at 10:35 AM on August 10, 2012 [9 favorites]


I'd like to see election day be made a national holiday so that most people get the day off to go vote. If there was enough popular support, it would be a hard thing to argue against.
posted by VTX at 10:36 AM on August 10, 2012 [19 favorites]



Republicans really don't think much of the whole democracy thing, do they?


Well, the GOP chair, Reince Priebus, just tacitly called 63 percent of the public ridiculous for wanting Romney to share more of his tax records.. so yeah I'd have to go with you on this.
posted by edgeways at 10:39 AM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm certain that not letting people vote will solve our voter fraud problem, so this is good news!
posted by rtha at 10:44 AM on August 10, 2012


As an Oregon resident, I'm curious as to why all states don't just move to the vote-by-mail system.

What? And let everyone who's eligible to vote actually vote?
posted by scody at 10:45 AM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


What we do need, is a clear national standard. States can be more lenient on the standards (making it easier to vote), but not more restrictive.

- Same day registration
- Early voting to include at least one whole weekend
- If a polling place is not within 5 miles of your residence you are allowed to vote by mail as default.
- If a voting ID is required, it must be issuable at the polling station and requirements to issue a ID can not affect a class of people disproportionately.
- Standard voting machine that at minimum leaves a physical record that can be used for hand counts.

-
-
-?
posted by edgeways at 10:46 AM on August 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


spreading freedumb across the globe while making a mockery of democracy here at home
posted by nikoniko at 10:47 AM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see election day be made a national holiday so that most people get the day off to go vote. If there was enough popular support, it would be a hard thing to argue against.

I would expand on that. Polls should be open for a week, and everyone should be guaranteed a full day off with pay at least one of those seven days. Or we could just all go to voting by mail. In any case, voting should be compulsory. To make it more palatable we could offer a refundable tax credit for voting rather than fining people who don't.

And as long as I'm dreaming, felon disenfranchisement should be abolished except for convictions for voter fraud, campaign finance violations, etc. And anyone who puts out fliers, robocalls, etc lying about the date or location of an election or a person's eligibility to vote should be severely punished as election fraud.
posted by jedicus at 10:48 AM on August 10, 2012 [12 favorites]


A report by the Democratic National Committee estimated that 174,000 voters left the queues in 2004, waiting to vote. George W. Bush won in Ohio with 118,000 votes. Subsequently, Ohio added 35 early-voting days to the election calendar and 2008 went much smoother.

Here's what the New York Times said at the time:

That same day in Columbus, voters in black neighborhoods waited as long as four hours, often in the rain. Many voters there and in other urban areas — including Toledo and Youngstown — left their overcrowded polling places in disgust, or because they could not wait any longer, without casting a ballot. In many of Ohio’s white-majority suburbs, the lines were far shorter.

See also the documentary No Umbrella: Election Day in the City
posted by mcmile at 10:48 AM on August 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


.

(for democracy)
posted by madcaptenor at 11:04 AM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is who they are.
posted by bardic at 11:10 AM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


edgeways: "What we do need, is a clear national standard. States can be more lenient on the standards (making it easier to vote), but not more restrictive."

Don't worry -- as Wonkette reports, the Ohio AG is on your side:
Okay, so there are like eighteen laws now that allow voting at some point before election day based on military affiliation and maybe what god you believe in, it’s not clear. But at least it’s the same law across the state.
Now, in heavily Democratic cities like Cleveland, Columbus, Akron and Toledo, early voting hours will be limited to 8 am until 5 pm on weekdays beginning on October 1, with no voting at night or during the weekend, when it’s most convenient for working people to vote. Republican election commissioners have blocked Democratic efforts to expand early voting hours in these counties, where the board of elections are split equally between Democratic and Republican members. Ohio Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has broken the tie by intervening on behalf of his fellow Republicans.

‘I cannot create unequal access from one county board to another, and I must also keep in mind resources available to each county,” Husted said in explaining his decision to deny expanded early voting hours in heavily Democratic counties.
I mean, that makes sense, you wouldn’t want unequal access across-
Yet in solidly Republican counties like Warren and Butler, GOP election commissioners have approved expanded early voting hours on nights and weekends. Noted the Cincinnati Enquirer: “The counties where Husted has joined other Republicans to deny expanded early voting strongly backed then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008, while most of those where the extra hours will stand heavily supported GOP nominee John McCain.”
Oh, fuck you with a million burning hammers.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:12 AM on August 10, 2012 [17 favorites]


What's funny is they don't even try to hide their dishonesty, borderline illegal tactics, bullying and corruption anymore and people still believe them.

It isn't about "believ[ing] them"; it is simply about looking the other way when someone cheats in your favor. This isn't something that only Republicans do, but in elections, it seems to be something that only Republicans can do; I (perhaps cynically) believe that Democrats would do the same thing, if powerful Americans were generally Democrats, ie it is something that powerful Americans do during elections. Also at other times. Presumably because that's the kind of thing that makes a person powerful in the first place.
posted by davejay at 11:28 AM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm certain that not letting people vote will solve our voter fraud problem, so this is good news!

You say that now, but when you walk into your vote-tallying office the morning after the election to start the counting process, and there are somehow, inexplicably, a huge pile of ballots there to actually be counted, you'll be shaking your fists at those fraudulent voting bastards, I assure you.
posted by davejay at 11:31 AM on August 10, 2012


The idea that there is no uniform, federal standards for a federal election is just baffling. It invites toying with the system to manipulate it. I think making this a republican/democrat thing is a mistake; I'll bet both sides routinely manipulate the rules for their benefit. The fact they can do this is anti-democratic; it isn't a matter of which side is currently the target of news.

In Canada, Elections Canada is responsible for determining such things. They are most certainly not perfect, but also are an independent branch of the government who at least don't have a direct interest in the outcome, and the rules are applied uniformly.
posted by Bovine Love at 11:46 AM on August 10, 2012


If you like this sort of thing, follow Election Law Blog. RSS.

And by like, I mean are horrified by developments around. I was hanging out with some republican friends of mine recently and I just cringed at what I would hear if the conversation turned to these topics.
posted by cashman at 11:56 AM on August 10, 2012


Well, the GOP chair, Reince Priebus, just tacitly called 63 percent of the public ridiculous for wanting Romney to share more of his tax records.. so yeah I'd have to go with you on this.

Yeah, I'm not sure he thought out that birther comparison really well since...you know...Obama released the document in question in that case.

This isn't something that only Republicans do, but in elections, it seems to be something that only Republicans can do

Democrats win when more people vote. You won't see them trying to limit turn-out because it would be shooting themselves in the foot.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:57 AM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm curious as to why all states don't just move to the vote-by-mail system.

The empirical evidence suggests at most a small increase in turnout (and in some studies a decrease) with, if anything, an increased bias against the poor. The most recent study I'm aware of is Bergman, Yates, and Ginnold 2009.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:59 AM on August 10, 2012


[Please do not make lolmormons jokes in totally unrelated threads, and consider knocking it off in general. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 12:30 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's sad how the self proclaimed leaders of the free world keep finding ways to chip away at the legitimacy of elections. The US is just a couple of Bush v Gore incidents away from needing to call in monitors from the United Nations.


That election could have used them. Imagine if the Russian presidential election was decided by a few thousand contested votes in the district run by the winning candidates brother. Ridiculous.
posted by milarepa at 12:35 PM on August 10, 2012


decided by a few thousand contested votes in the district run by the winning candidates brother

Don't forget the nine politically appointed and approved judges who basically threw out the evidence.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:39 PM on August 10, 2012


While absentee ballots currently exist, the secret ballot is one of the requisite pieces of a modern democratic system, and going to an all vote-by-mail system violates that.
posted by fragmede at 12:48 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


That election could have used them.

As usual, the Onion was right on top of the issue at the time.
posted by ceribus peribus at 12:52 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


How Not to Vote in Ohio, 2012 Edition
posted by homunculus at 1:11 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


As an Oregon resident, I'm curious as to why all states don't just move to the vote-by-mail system. I get to vote while sitting on my toilet and drinking a beer.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:33 PM


That sounds pretty efficient. The toilet-and-beer arrangement, I mean.
posted by workerant at 1:26 PM on August 10, 2012


While absentee ballots currently exist, the secret ballot is one of the requisite pieces of a modern democratic system, and going to an all vote-by-mail system violates that.
posted by fragmede at 2:48 PM on August 10


I'm not an American citizen, so I have a question. When I absentee vote in Canada, I am mailed an election card with no identifying information on it, which I then fill out and send back inside an envelope with no identifying markings on it (I think it just listed my electoral district), which I put inside another envelope saying who I am, which I must sign, and then all that goes inside the envelope to Elections Canada. At their end, they open the mail, find my signed envelope, and check to ensure I'm on the voter rolls, and then they remove the inner envelope from that envelope and send it to my electoral district, where it is opened along with lots of others by a totally separate person who doesn't know who I am, only that Elections Canada has verified it as a legitimate vote.

Well, to be precise, they only open those envelopes if there's a mathematical chance of affecting the election (eg if there are 500 mailed-in ballots and the leader is winning by 1000 votes, they don't bother to open them), which I can never decide is practical or an outrage. But anyway.

Does the USA do it differently, in such a way that mail-in votes identify the voter?
posted by joannemerriam at 1:34 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


- Same day registration
- Early voting to include at least one whole weekend
- If a polling place is not within 5 miles of your residence you are allowed to vote by mail as default.
- If a voting ID is required, it must be issuable at the polling station and requirements to issue a ID can not affect a class of people disproportionately.
- Standard voting machine that at minimum leaves a physical record that can be used for hand counts.

-
-
-?


- Voting with pencil and paper. Voting machines are a solution in search of a problem. Diebold and the like have had the lobbying power to force themselves into the process at the benefit of their executives and shareholders. And we pay for it. We pay for this highly unsecured, unaccountable electronic voting system that steals elections. From what I've read of the 2004 election, there were massive discrepancies with electronic voting machines. But with no paper trail, there wasn't much to investigate (in a soundbite, anyway).

Pencil and paper.
posted by zardoz at 1:36 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does the USA do it differently, in such a way that mail-in votes identify the voter?

I've voted by mail in Vermont and that's pretty much how it worked for me as well. Seemed secret enough for my satisfaction.
posted by jessamyn at 1:38 PM on August 10, 2012


Oregon is entirely vote-by-mail. There are multiple envelopes--one on the inside that contains the ballot and a second envelope that you sign. Once the first envelope is opened and discarded, there's no way to tie the second envelope with your ballot to you.

I've never heard an objection to it on secrecy grounds. It's so much preferable to trying to find a voting place that I wish it were more widespread.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:39 PM on August 10, 2012


Well we debate all this pie-in-the-sky shit all we want-- pencil and paper, mail-in, whatever. But while we rabbit on, real voter suppression is in the works with no solution in sight. What needs to happen is for Democrats in congress to wake-up and smell the coffee and start passing some Federal laws. It is insane and anti-American that Ohio can just screw their voters over like this. I would suggest a big bus-in to take the black folk out to the open-on-the-weekend precincts but you have to vote in your own precinct so that won't work. How about some big profile black leaders make some noise?

Jesus this makes me mad.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:53 PM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


What needs to happen is for Democrats in congress to wake-up and smell the coffee and start passing some Federal laws.

You mean like some sort of Voting Rights Act?
posted by zombieflanders at 2:03 PM on August 10, 2012


As an Oregon resident, I'm curious as to why all states don't just move to the vote-by-mail system. I get to vote while sitting on my toilet and drinking a beer.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:33 PM
Move all the polling places to bars and install toilets in the voting booths! Brilliant!
posted by eruonna at 2:09 PM on August 10, 2012


Voting with pencil and paper. Voting machines are a solution in search of a problem.

We use paper pencil and optical scanner machines in this part of Minnesota (and the wide majority of Minnesota). The machines do the actual counting and in the last two election years we've had two state-wide recounts (one partial, one total) and the machines have proven very very accurate in their counting. Well in excess of 99%

I begrudgingly could see a electronic voting machine that actually printed out your ballot selection which you verified and dropped into a locked box right next to the voting machine - paper trail for recount. Frankly though it seems like overkill when the optical scanners work so well already. I really don't know why people use other methods of ballot marking/counting, and I have not heard of any reasonable complaints against the system.
posted by edgeways at 2:15 PM on August 10, 2012


Put the IRS in charge of voting; everyone who files a tax return also files their votes for that year's federal elections (if there are any) at the same time. Or at least use the same system, and have the IRS folks (who aren't busy until the 1st of the year) working on the votes from November 15th.
posted by davejay at 2:17 PM on August 10, 2012


people do have to file taxes even if they haven't earned anything for the year, right? Or would that approach still disenfranchise some people?
posted by davejay at 2:18 PM on August 10, 2012


people do have to file taxes even if they haven't earned anything for the year, right?

No, there are people who don't have to file, even ones who have (very small) earnings.
posted by jedicus at 3:32 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


While absentee ballots currently exist, the secret ballot is one of the requisite pieces of a modern democratic system, and going to an all vote-by-mail system violates that.

Another Oregonian chiming in to say that it really is still a secret ballot. Additionally, a lot (a majority?) of people who live in more populated areas don't even mail their ballot in, but instead drop it off by hand at one of the many ballot drop boxes (full disclosure: I helped build that site) found throughout the state. There's no difference between vote-by-mail and permanent absentee voting, for states that have that, and I've never heard a privacy objection to casting an absentee ballot.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 3:46 PM on August 10, 2012


Another Oregonian chiming in to say that it really is still a secret ballot.

It's only a little bit secret, because mail-in or absentee votes mean that -- absolutely unlike voting in person -- it is possible to vote in the presence of others, and it is possible for someone else to verify that you have voted in the way you agreed to, or were compensated to, or were forced to.

A voter might possibly cast a secret ballot with mail in voting. A voter is guaranteed to have cast a secret ballot with in-person voting.

If it hasn't happened yet, it will not be many years before Wal-Marts or lumber companies or other large evil businesses in Oregon start having "Voter turnout drives" or "Vote parties" where employees all show up and vote together! For patriotism! The boss only wants to see your ballot to make sure you voted correctly actually voted before they give you that hour off! Honest!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:27 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've never heard a privacy objection to casting an absentee ballot

You have now! They ought to be reserved for cases of reasonable necessity and wherever possible should be filled out under the eye of some government official and partisan poll watchers who can all agree that the voter started with a blank ballot, went somewhere alone and unobserved, and emerged with a sealed ballot.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:38 PM on August 10, 2012


If you're having voting problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but an election ain't one.
With apologies to Jay-Z and disenfranchised voters everywhere.

I agree with the folks who say mail in. That's how I've been voting in Colorado for years. So much nicer than standing in line with all of those irritating conservatives.
posted by evilDoug at 5:05 PM on August 10, 2012


I'm a little baffled why the US DoJ Civil Rights Division isn't in Ohio's face over the Voting Rights Act violations. I understand why they sat on their hands when Bush was president, but why continue that policy?

Washington state votes by mail. There are some drawbacks: there's no longer any reason to go hang out at the county building for election night because the vote totals takes over a week to trickle in on close races (not that we're seeing many of those anymore.) I liked going to the neighborhood polling place. Another downside is people feel less involved in the election process (which is also partly due to the obscene amounts of money being thrown around by relatively few people.)

Way back when, there was an attempt to prevent some people from voting at polling places. A bunch of Christian Right goons infiltrated as poll workers. The League of Women Voters and the county bar association had poll watchers out in force the next election and nipped that in the bud.

The upside to voting by mail is people are more likely to discuss the candidates and ballot issues. I got five calls from friends asking me about this primary ballot.

In other election weirdness, I got a robocall on election day that sounded like it had been scripted by Orly Taitz, John Trochman and the ghost of Robert Welch. Batshit insane tinfoil-hat rant about Obama being: socialist, alien, and practically a lizard person. I've got no idea who was paying for it, but it was totally nuts.
posted by warbaby at 5:32 PM on August 10, 2012


If Ferris Bueller taught us anything, it was this: If you're going to lie or mislead, do it in a big, over-the-top kind of way. At least it'll be memorable.

Um, didn't Herr Goebbels teach us this?
posted by mattoxic at 6:03 PM on August 10, 2012


From what I've read of the 2004 election, there were massive discrepancies with electronic voting machines. But with no paper trail, there wasn't much to investigate (in a soundbite, anyway).

Hacking Democracy [trailer] is what you want to watch about this issue. Take your pick of how to watch it: Google Video, Hulu, or YouTube.

(In some cases, what little paper trail there was, was being thrown out by election officials. Scandalous but utterly ignored.)
posted by hippybear at 6:49 PM on August 10, 2012


the IRS folks (who aren't busy until the 1st of the year)

FYI the IRS hires armies of temporary workers for tax season. I was one in 2003 and 2004. I helped fix errors in tax returns (mostly paper at that time). It's about four months of work, federal pay grades (pretty good for paperwork), no benefits. I qualified for the job based on my application and a test. I don't recall an interview.

Half hour lunch (ugh!), day started at 7 I think. But there was a cafeteria in the huge building and a long indoor walking path for people who liked to do that sort of thing on their break.

The IRS works you *hard* on your numbers, though. And you have to be accurate. Much, much harsher than my current state government job.
posted by marble at 6:57 PM on August 10, 2012


> people do have to file taxes even if they haven't earned anything for the year, right? Or would that approach still disenfranchise some people?

Nope. So, lots and lots of people would be very disenfranchised, sorry.
posted by desuetude at 11:21 PM on August 10, 2012


Study: Voter Impersonation Fraud, Target Of Voter ID, ‘Virtually Non-Existent’
posted by zombieflanders at 11:35 AM on August 13, 2012


And on a slightly lighter note: ‘Game of Thrones’ Author George R.R. Martin Is Very Angry About Voter Suppression
But I think we can all agree, across party lines, that if finding ways to ensure broad poll access to all Americans who are eligible to vote while also ensuring the integrity of the ballots they cast will help get The Winds of Winter to us faster by giving Martin fewer things to be distracted by and angry about, that’s a worthwhile priority.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:38 AM on August 14, 2012


Well, this sucks: Judge Won’t Block Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law
posted by zombieflanders at 6:42 AM on August 15, 2012


There is a PA voter ID thread here, if you would like to post that there too zombieflanders.
posted by cashman at 8:34 AM on August 15, 2012


Overt Discrimination in Ohio. [NYTimes]

Urban areas cut hours as GOP-leaning counties add [Cincinnati Enquirer]

This is just ridiculous.

I think as the election approaches, if these laws don't get stopped we will have to coordinate to give people refreshments in line, optimize rides to and from the polls, and otherwise help out so that people can actually vote. This is going to be a mess.
posted by cashman at 8:39 AM on August 15, 2012


I think as the election approaches, if these laws don't get stopped we will have to coordinate to give people refreshments in line, optimize rides to and from the polls, and otherwise help out so that people can actually vote. This is going to be a mess.

Not that you aren't absolutely correct, but it's been this way for years now. This is just the latest slavo.
posted by odinsdream at 9:17 AM on August 15, 2012


Oh I know, I gave rides to the polls for the last election. But I think this is going to require more coordination, software use, and systems.
posted by cashman at 9:24 AM on August 15, 2012


Dog taketh away, and Dog giveth:
On Wednesday afternoon, Jon Husted, the Ohio Secretary of State, announced that all Ohio counties would follow a uniform early-voting policy. The policy would extend early-voting hours to 7 p.m. on weekdays during the last two weeks before the election, though all early voting is banned during the final three days of the campaign.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:28 PM on August 15, 2012


Good! I like a comment I saw in reference to this story: "They overplayed their hand and got caught ... "
posted by cashman at 7:14 PM on August 15, 2012


Well, this sucks: Judge Won’t Block Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law

Done!
posted by homunculus at 9:20 PM on August 15, 2012


Another slightly heartening bit of news: Federal Court Rules Florida’s Shortening Of Early Voting Discriminates Against Blacks
posted by zombieflanders at 4:24 AM on August 17, 2012


Only in 5 counties though, right? And not especially populated ones right?
posted by cashman at 4:59 AM on August 17, 2012


No, not especially. The combined population is merely greater than Idaho.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:46 AM on August 18, 2012


It's about 10 percent of Florida though, right?
posted by cashman at 1:33 PM on August 18, 2012


Ohio GOP Election Board Member: Our Voting Process Shouldn’t Accommodate Black Voters
posted by homunculus at 11:53 AM on August 19, 2012


Ohio Republican Party: GOP Chairman Made Racist Remarks Because He Thought He Was Speaking Off the Record
posted by homunculus at 4:37 PM on August 22, 2012


What needs to happen is for Democrats in congress to wake-up and smell the coffee and start passing some Federal laws.

You mean like some sort of Voting Rights Act?


GOP Attorneys General: Voting Rights Act Should Be Struck Down To Boost Laws Suppressing Minority Vote
posted by homunculus at 12:04 PM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Going Undercover at the GOP's Voter Vigilante Project to Disrupt the Nov. Election: The Republican True the Vote project is a well-funded scheme with training sessions for activists across the country. Will it work?
posted by homunculus at 10:35 AM on August 26, 2012


Ohio Must Restore Three Days of Early Voting, Judge Rules
A U.S. judge in Ohio threw out a Republican-backed law that cut three days of early voting for most of the state’s citizens, handing a victory to President Barack Obama’s campaign organization.

In a third setback for Republican-sponsored election law changes this week, U.S. District Judge Peter Economus in Columbus ruled that Ohio can’t give members of the military and citizens living abroad three days more than other voters to cast ballots. He ordered the previous schedule restored that allowed anyone to vote until the day before an election.

“This court finds that plaintiffs have a constitutionally protected right to participate in the 2012 election -- and all elections -- on an equal basis with all Ohio voters,” Economus said.
posted by cashman at 5:42 PM on August 31, 2012


Ohio Secretary of State John Husted Refuses to Comply With Court Order That Would ‘Confuse’ Voters
posted by homunculus at 12:29 PM on September 5, 2012


Looks like he's really pissed off the judge: Judge Orders Jon Husted To Attend Ohio Early Voting Hearing
posted by zombieflanders at 3:15 PM on September 5, 2012


Did Barack Obama Save Ohio? Why the battle to take credit for Ohio’s ever-so-slightly above-average economy could swing the presidential election.
posted by homunculus at 12:20 PM on September 6, 2012


Ohio Secretary Of State Backs Down On Early Voting Order

It was just a misunderstanding! Gleesh...
posted by zombieflanders at 12:51 PM on September 7, 2012


"When I said 'fuck you!' I didn't mean 'fuck you!' like in a bad way! It's Ohio custom to say 'fuck you!' when we're happy to do what we're supposed to - ask anybody!"
posted by rtha at 1:15 PM on September 7, 2012


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