Stealing Ohio

With polling trends like they are, Barack Obama might win Ohio outright, but his campaign and its surrogates are leaving nothing to chance. In a procedure designed to encourage voter fraud, Ohio’s Democrat Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, is doing her best to game the system for Obama.

On August 13, 2008, Secretary Brunner ordered a voter registration system that allowed same day voter registration and dispersals of absentee ballots to same day registrants. To compound the problem, Secretary Brunner has encouraged local elections officials to turn away poll watchers.

Under Ohio law, Republican and Democrat poll watchers are entitled to oversee the elections process on Election Day. The law is silent as to early voting. Secretary Brunner has interpreted that to mean poll watchers are prohibited. WTAM Radio in Cleveland last week challenged Secretary Brunner’s Press Secretary, Jeff Ortega, to explain why poll watchers were being prohibited from watching the on-going voting in Ohio. Mr. Ortega hung up on the radio host questioning him instead of answering the question.

At the same time Secretary Brunner is encouraging same day voter registration and voting, she has tried to throw out absentee ballots arranged by the Ohio Republican Party. Ohio law does not require absentee voters to check a box on their absentee ballot affirming they are “qualified voters.” Ohio law clearly states the voter’s signature is all that is required. Notwithstanding the law, Secretary Brunner ruled that if a voter did not check a box affirming the voter is qualified, the voter’s ballot would not be counted. The Ohio GOP, sending out its absentee ballots, had added the unneeded check box in error to its absentee ballot forms, thereby enabling Brunner to throw out all the ballots. The Ohio Supreme Court last week reversed Brunner’s decision, ruling that a signature would be acceptable.

This all makes voting in Ohio increasingly problematic and open to fraud. The Democratic Party is aggressively recruiting the homeless to vote. As one Democratic operative explained on film, “It’s a perfect opportunity for them to come in, register at a temporary address like a homeless shelter or a YMCA or something like that. They can register at that address because they don’t know where they’re going to be tomorrow or next week." [Emphasis added.]

Blogger Maggie Thurber, who lives in Ohio, noted one instance where a homeless man admitted he was not from Ohio but was bussed in to vote and would then be going back to Chicago. This was at a location where a Republican poll watcher had been turned away by elections officials.

Barack Obama is running ahead of John McCain in Ohio. Nonetheless, Democratic operatives are working overtime to ensure nothing stands in the way of Obama winning Ohio.