Daniel P. Tokaji, Professor of Law at Ohio State University:
In 2004, Ohio became infamous for making it difficult to vote and have one’s vote counted. Much of the criticism was directed at then-Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Remember his directive to reject registration forms on less than 80-pound paper weight?
Now, Ohio House Republicans are attempting to go further than Blackwell ever dared. In an obvious attempt to gain an advantage in the 2012 presidential election, they are attempting to rush through a bill (HB 159) that would make it more difficult for eligible citizens to have their votes counted. Ohio already has a tough voter ID law, but the proposed bill would make the burden on eligible citizens more onerous, requiring that in-person voters present one of four specified forms of government-issued photo identification.
“Disenfranchisement” isn’t a word to be used lightly. But it is necessary to capture this bill’s purpose and impact. Passage of this bill would restore our state’s unfortunate reputation as the nation’s capital of vote suppression. Yet so far, it has gone completely under the radar. This comment provides background on the problem, debunks the arguments in favor of the bill, and anticipates the lawsuits that can be expected to follow if it passes.
(h/t: Kay at Balloon Juice)