The Effort to Halt the Real Threat to Our Democracy : Voter Suppression by Elected Republican Officials

For over 20 years I worked the polls, taking a vacation day off work to help others vote. I considered it a civic duty. When I moved to Upper Arlington from Athens I started at the bottom again, sent from neighborhood to neighborhood to fill-in as needed. Within a few years I was posted to my own precinct, a republican precinct. The presiding judge was therefore  Republican. I had been a presiding judge when posted in Democratic precincts because as an attorney, and after so many years working polls, I understood the ins and outs of election law. I recognized many of the voters. In primaries, they self-identified as Democratic or Republican voters in order to vote in their party primary. The republican judge consistently refused to issue provisional ballots, make name changes or address changes, or redirect voters to proper voting location to Democratic voters. When I intervened to do so I was told only she had authority to do so. I reminded her of the law, ignored her directive, and proceeded to assure every voter was helped to cast a valid vote within state and county guidelines.

She repeated this behavior at the following election. I reported our disagreements in our problem reporting booklet, for each voter she attempted to disenfranchise. I wanted a record indicating the validity of the voter’s right to cast a vote, and the need for my intervention to assure that vote was counted. Later, I discussed this presiding judge’s behavior with the Board of Elections trainer. She promised to look into the matter. Nothing changed. Following the next election, I not only documented the problem within the reporting problems booklet, I also wrote a letter documenting each charge against the presiding judge, and sent it to several parties, including the Board of Election and the Democratic Ward Leader who assigned me to that polling site. I called numerous times to review the matter with him. Each time he promised the matter would be looked into. The next election, there she was again, smiling at me as she told a Democratic voter  they could not vote since they had moved, instead of doing an address change and redirecting and/or allowing a provisional ballot as the situation required. She made it clear she was not going anywhere, nor was she going to change. Voter fraud by appointed or elected officials is the real threat to our democracy.

Rest of the article here


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