Maddow: Republican voter suppression efforts are deadly serious

By Stephen C. Webster
Saturday, August 11, 2012 12:19 EDT
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MSNBC host Rachel Maddow explains GOP voter suppression efforts. Photo: Screengrab via MSNBC.com.
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Early voting is being stabbed to death in Ohio, and Republicans are holding the knives.

On Friday night’s episode of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” the MSNBC host explained that the state’s last three days of early voting, traditionally a time when churches and other urban community groups mobilize voters, have been canceled by Jon Husted, Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State. And that will mean longer lines in Democratic-leaning cities come election day.

President Barack Obama’s campaign has sued to overturn Husted’s decision, which he justified to a conservative radio host by saying, “We’re not 7/11.”

As if that weren’t enough, the times for polls to be open during early voting has also turned into a partisan meltdown, with Republicans supporting extended hours and weekend voting in conservative-leaning areas, but closing them early and restricting them to just five days a week in more liberal communities.

“Each county’s election board in Ohio’s 88 counties is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats,” Maddow explained. “In counties that tend to vote for the Republican candidate, like Warren and Butler counties, where John McCain won in ’08 by big margins — in those counties, Republicans and Democrats on the elections boards are voting together to allow early voting on nights and weekends. So that means more voting in Republican counties.

“But in the counties that tend to go Democratic, like Cuyahoga and Franklin and Summit, where Barack Obama won by huge margins in 2008, the Republicans on those election boards are voting against early voting on nights and weekends. And guess who gets the break for the tie votes in those counties?”

None other than Jon Husted.

“He is personally intervening to make sure there are fewer early voting hours on nights and weekends in Democratic counties, while there are more early voting hours on nights and weekends in Republican counties,” Maddow concluded.

This video is from MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” broadcast Friday, August 10, 2012.

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Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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