Reasonable Moderate John Kasich Will Charge You To Vote, If It's An 'Emergency'
For your "What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" file this fine day: the Ohio legislature passed a bill late Wednesday that would require voters requesting a court order to extend voting hours after an emergency to post a cash bond, because longer voting hours are expensive. And who better to ding for the costs of longer poll hours than those useless takers who want to vote?
If Gov. John Kasich (R) signs the bill, Ohio could become the first state in the nation to make voters risk losing tens of thousands of dollars of their own money when making the case for keeping the polls open a few extra hours.
The bill's author, Republican state Sen. Bill Seitz, was very upset about the costs to local governments after they had to keep polls open after a couple of emergencies: a 2015 software problem that erased poll records and a huge car wreck that cut off a main highway and snarled traffic for hours. Thousands of voters were left waiting, and judges ruled the polls should remain open to accommodate them. This selfish desire of people to have access to their right to vote offended Seitz's sense of fairness, as he explained in an op-ed:
Sadly, in both the November 2015 and March 2016 elections, rogue courts in Hamilton County issued orders extending polling hours. These orders cost Hamilton County taxpayers $57,000, and forced the inside poll workers to stay around for an extra 60 to 90 minutes after already working a 14-hour day.
Rogue courts, just recklessly allowing people to vote even though they hadn't planned ahead for circumstances beyond their control. Why must the public bear the costs of such irresponsibility? Stupid voters should consider themselves lucky we let them vote at all instead of acting like they have a right to exercise the franchise.
Mike Brickner, a flaming radical with the ACLU of Ohio, said the bill would unnecessarily complicate the process of responding to emergencies that might interfere with voting:
"Maybe the polling place lost power, or there was a tornado, or the machines malfunctioned, and voters were not able to vote during the day,” he explained. “Now these people could be disenfranchised through no fault of their own. They can do the right thing and try to show up to vote, but they may not be able to wait around for hours if they have to work or go pick up their kids. Plus, [the cash bond provision] brings back a lot of ugly symbolism with the poll taxes of the past, when you had to pay to exercise your right to vote.”
Well, yeah. What is it you don't understand about how making voting harder is good for Republicans? Are you trying to impose some kind of communist bias toward fairness or something? Jesus, it's not like these people are trying to access an important right, like carrying a concealed weapon.
All the Democrats in the Ohio House voted against the bill, State Rep. Kathleen Clyde among them. She said she thinks the proposal was unconstitutional:
"It’s tantamount to a poll tax to require voters to post a cash bond, and we really need to have the ability to petition state or federal courts if there is some type of emergency necessitating the extension of polling hours.”
Clyde noted that just [Tuesday], a federal court ruled that cuts to early voting hours approved by Ohio Republicans over the past few years are unconstitutional, and ordered the state to reverse them. The court found that voters of color were disproportionately harmed by the cuts.
In light of that ruling, Clyde expressed dismay that “the GOP continues on their march to make voting harder in Ohio.”
Yes ... and your point, lady? It's really quite simple: If you go and let just anyone vote, you might not get the results the Republican majority in the Ohio legislature wants, and that would not be fair. The Republicans are all about fairness, as these tweets from the Ohio House GOP prove:
We're especially impressed by that first one, which is technically true: Nothing in the bill reduces voting hours. It just makes it a hell of a lot harder to increase voting hours after an emergency. Which isn't really a reduction as long as you don't mind not voting.
Look, democracy demands that the majority rules, and so to keep a majority in the legislature, sometimes the majority has the inalienable right to rig the system to ensure its continued power. If people aren't able to get to the polls during the scheduled hours just because of some natural disaster, that's hardly the Republicans' problem, now is it? Stop asking for special privileges and pass more tax cuts on businesses, OK?
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.