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Terra Goodnight · September 26, 2012

Husted instructs local election official to obstruct early voting attempt

On September 7, Ohio Secretary of Husted appeared to back down from his attempts to block voting on the last weekend before election day. After a federal judge’s rebuke, Husted rescinded a directive that had instructed County Boards of Elections not to establish voting hours for those final three days. So that’s a victory for early voting, right? Not so fast. According to a story in today’s Akron Beacon Journal, the Summit County Board of Elections attempted yesterday to set hours for that weekend, but were blocked when a GOP member of the Board walked out of the meeting. The official, already outnumbered with the other GOP member absent, told the reporter he took this unusual action after he called Secretary Husted’s office for guidance on what appeared would have likely ended up a 2-1 vote for opening on the weekend.
Probably not the headline GOP officials wanted
Husted’s office was forthcoming with advice:
Weber said after the meeting that he called Husted’s office and asked what he could do if the two Democratic board members tried to take action he disagreed on, with Arshinkoff being absent. He said he was told that, if he left the meeting, the board would lack the required three-member quorum and any action the board members took would be void.
Rather than allow the judge’s ruling be honored by opening up the polls on November 3-5, Husted coached the official on a procedural move that would block the proposal. Husted has already been admonished once by the judge for preventing Counties from moving forward to open the polls, but he appears to be at it again.

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