A message from PFAW: It's not a coincidence; it's not an accident; it's not a mistake. Republicans across the country are trying to suppress the vote so they can win the election.
In Ohio, where the stakes couldn't be higher, the Republican Party isn't even trying to hide its intentions. This past Sunday, one of Gov. John Kasich's closest advisers declared that election officials like himself should not "accommodate the urban -- read African American -- voter-turnout machine," essentially admitting that their strategy is to limit African Americans' ability to vote. On Friday, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted suspended and now may fire two election board members for the offense of -- imagine this -- seeking to expand access to the polls.
After the 2004 election, which saw thousands of Ohioans waiting in long lines for hours after the polls closed, Ohio sensibly created early voting by mail and in person. County election officials were able to ensure access to the polls for all voters. And in 2008, hundreds of thousands of voters -- particularly African Americans -- were able to vote early instead of waiting in long lines on Election Day.
But now, Republicans want to change the rules and limit access to early voting to give themselves an unfair advantage. In fact, they expanded early voting opportunities for Republican counties, but gave voters in larger, Democratic counties less time to vote early -- even though these counties were precisely the counties that needed early voting because of the long lines in 2004! In response to accusations of unfairness, Secretary of State Husted then limited early voting opportunities for all counties. It's outrageous.
In the past week, two Democratic election board members in Montgomery County refused to back down to Husted and proposed keeping early voting on the weekends so working people could vote in the election. For that, Husted punished them, suspending them from their positions. Can you believe it? Election officials shouldn't be fired for trying to expand access to the voting booth.
We can't let this happen in Ohio. The stakes couldn’t be higher. Our democracy depends on it. Sign the petition now.
Thank you for all that you do,
Field Manager, People For the American Way