The GOP-controlled Ohio House voted yesterday on a party-line vote to narrow the rights of voters in this state. These efforts are part of a nation-wide plan by the Republican Party to marginalize the old, young, poor and inner city voters prior to the 2012 presidential election. ‘Let Freedom Ring’ is not one of their favorite phrases. This action reminds me of the current unrest that we see in Egypt, Syria, Yemen and other places in that region of the world. People yearning to be free, but their rights withheld. Yesterday’s actions by the Ohio House makes a mockery of that statement on the Statue of Liberty in the New York Harbor.
The Toledo Blade says, “The bill is aimed at reducing the number of provisional ballots cast, shortening absentee and in-person early voting periods, and restricting circulation of ballot issue petitions. It would prohibit the practice of Lucas and other mostly urban counties of mass-mailing absentee ballot applications to registered voters.”
A local House Democrat said of this bill, “It would suppress the vote, especially the early vote to gain a political advantage and consolidate political power,” he said. “This bill is bare-knuckled, in-your-face, political hardball, and has absolutely no place in Ohio law.”
The GOP likes to disenfranchise voters who they know will not vote for their candidates. That’s why I see an alarming parallel between the suppression of civil rights in Muslim countries through the Middle East and the efforts nationwide of the Republican Party to do the same in our nation. The pertinent question arises: Will The People stand for this manipulation of rights, roll over and play dead, or will they fight this at that very same ballot box?