“I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine,” said Doug Preisse, chairman of the county Republican Party and elections board member who voted against weekend hours, in an email to The Dispatch. “Let’s be fair and reasonable.”
Black people won't vote for Republicans for any number of valid reasons. Why should Republicans make it easier for black people to vote, right?
Still, one argument to restore early voting hours in Ohio keeps reoccurring: They worked in 2008, so what’s the rationale for removing them?
“As a result of historical discrimination against African-American voters, in addition to the recent wave of suppressive voter laws being enacted in statehouses across the country, African-American voters are skeptical of any laws aimed at limiting the opportunity to vote,” said NAACP Ohio Conference President Sybil Edwards McNabb. She and other black leaders have asked to meet with Husted.
A study by Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates says that even after Husted’s directive last week, the hours when more than 200,000 Ohioans voted in 2008 have been wiped out. The group and others such as the League of Women Voters are calling on Husted to restore voting on at least two weekends in late October.
President Obama won Ohio by 263,000 votes in 2008. The election is expected to be somewhat closer this year. Eliminate 200,000 voters from the turnout, well...you do the math.