1:05pm August 21, 2012

Ohio GOP Official: Early Voting Helps “African-American Voter Turnout Machine”


In an article yesterday in the Columbus Dispatch, it would appear that some officials view assisting Blacks to vote as assisting President Barack Obama.

Though Secretary of State Jon Husted ordered that all of the polls in Ohio have the same early voting hours some feel making voting easier rather than harder is too much. Doug Preisse, a GOP county chairman and advisor to Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) in Ohio, e-mailed this to the Dispatch:

“I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine,” said Doug Preisse, chairman of the county Republican Party and elections board member who voted against weekend hours, in an email toThe Dispatch. “Let’s be fair and reasonable.”

“How far should the taxpayers be asked to go to accommodate that political operation? That’s where we’re having a difference of opinion,” Preisse told Buzzfeed.

According to the Dispatch story, Preisse said claims of unfairness by Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern and others were, “bullshit. Quote me!”

Preisse voted against early voting hours on the weekend.  Those days traditionally result in high Black turnout because the flexible times accommodate blue collar working people.  The Ohio GOP has figured out the trend.

LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE, Politic365 Managing Editor, publishes the blog Crewof42 on the Congressional Black Caucus.  She can be heard every Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET on WMCS 1290 in Milwaukee on Earl Ingram’s show The Earl Ingram Show as well as on WPFW 89.3 every Friday at 6:30 p.m. Ms. Burke is a former employee of USAToday.com and ABC News.  You can e-mail her at LBurke007@gmail.com follow her on twitter @Crewof42.


About the Author

Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke is an opinion journalist, comms expert and political analyst focused on justice reform policy. She created Crewof42.com, a blog that covers the work of Black members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke was a staffer for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and Director of Communications for Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN). She has had a very diverse career in politics and media and appears regularly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin, Hardball and Up on MSNBC, WVON in Chicago, WURD in Philadelphia and WOL and WHUR in Washington, D.C. She is currently the Managing Editor of Politic365 and a contributing writer for TheRoot and NBC Black where she writes opinion and analysis. Additionally, Ms. Burke has been a contract photographer for Associated Press since 2004. She has authored three books of photography including two on President Obama's 2008 campaign for the presidency and one with Marvel Comics publisher Stan Lee. Ms. Burke was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up on Long Island. She holds a B.A. in History from The American University. Here e-mail is: LBurke007@gmail.com. Twitter: @LVBurke. Instagram: LVB325.



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  1. I-Like-to-Vote

    What the … so, voting is bad?

    Efforts to get out the vote used to be a cherished American activity. Groups were proud to do this, and saw it as a contribution to democracy.

    Now, it is being portrayed as sleazy.

    Disgusting. This party "leader" should focus on the issues, not on disrupting access to the ballot.

    He should be ashamed.

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