I just got off the phone with Dora Rose, the Director of Voter Protection for the Ohio Democratic Party. Todd Hoffman, communications director for the ODP, contacted me after my previous post on January 8, 2008 Will the Ohio Democratic Party Fizzle Again this Presidential Year? Mr. Hoffman was quite cooperative in addressing the question asked in that posting.
Ohio is the only state to have a Director of Voter Protection and I said to Ms. Rose. "We certainly need one after the 2000 and 2004 elections." She agreed. I told her that I was particularly interested in the vote-suppression technique of vote-caging which I discussed on January 2, 2008 in my post, Vote Suppression: Vote-Caging 101.
There is good news to report on this front. Ohio Senator Brown was a co-sponsor to Rhode Island Senator Whitehouse's S 2305, the Vote Caging Prohibition Bill which will, in fact, do what the title suggests if it is passed and signed into law. Presently, it has been read twice and referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration . Whether it will be acted upon before November is unclear.
Secondly, and I am not clear on the specific legislation, the practice of challenging a voter's residency on voting day through the use of 'returned mail' will not be acceptable. All challenges must be made 19 days prior to election day.
These two pieces of legislation will sharply reduce the GOP's tactics of voter-suppression that it has successfully used in past years. Yet, in clear Karl Rovian style, no doubt there are new dirty tricks up those cuff-linked sleeves.
update 9:30 PM Jan. 15
Todd Hoffman sent me a link to an interesting encounter he had as he tried to attend a Republican Board of Election Members and Directors 'secret' meeting. The YouTube video is a great reminder of how the political system 'works.'