October 19, 2012

"Ohio Should Be Out Voting" By Gary Polvinale

(Reprinted with permission from http://www.madogmusic.com)

Ohio Should Be Out Voting
by Gary Polvinale (Sandusky, Ohio)

Got a few million bucks to spend on a comic book?  I see that someone just paid three million dollars for a Superman first edition.  And you can bet he didn’t have to save his nickels and dimes.  Currently, right-wing politicians want to give people like this a $250,000 tax break and pay for it with contributions from poor Americans.  And it’s Jon Husted’s fault.  How’s that?  Who’s he?  I’ll get to that in a minute.

There’s plenty of money out there.  Money that could provide security, healthcare, education and jobs for every American.  But it’s a safe bet you haven’t seen any of it lately.  Because it’s in the hands of a few, the job creators – and this is what they do with it.  And that comic book?  Well, your deprivation bought it.  Republicans chant, “Nothing wrong with being wealthy and well compensated.”  That’s baloney.  Doing well for yourself is one thing – having 3 mil from overseas investments to drop on a comic book is something else.  Something obscene, when 50 million Americans can’t pay the rent or feed their kids. 

While the rich have become obscenely rich, seniors you’ll be forced to give up the Social Security and Medicare you paid for all your life, and sick people you’ll be left to die because you can’t afford insurance.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  We’re the richest nation in the world.  With enough wealth for every single family to live happy, healthy and productive lives.  Instead, a few live in the lap of unimaginable luxury while the rest of us get squashed under their Gucci boot.  And now the Republican party pledges to deliver what’s left of your money to these rich guys, spending billions on advertising lies, scary billboards… and vote suppression in swing states.  Which brings me to Jon Husted’s part in all this.

Husted is Ohio’s Secretary of State, the man in charge of Ohio’s elections.  And he’s after your vote – literally.  100,000 Ohioans, mostly Democrats, used the weekend before election day to vote early in the last presidential election.  Husted refused to provide that early voting time, even though two federal courts have ordered him to do so.  For months Husted has ignored the court’s ruling.  However, a few days ago on Oct 16 the United States Supreme Court unanimously denied Jon Husted’s appeal to squelch early voting the three days before the election.  Even so, aside from the early voting restrictions, Husted’s tougher voter ID requirements are making it harder for seniors, shut-ins, nursing home residents, low wage earners and college students to vote. And all that theatre is distracting media attention from the rest of the disenfranchising being wrought from hacking electronic voting machines, shorting machines in Democratic precincts, purging largely Democratic voter rolls, intimidating billboards in low-income neighborhoods and malarky advertising.  In this close election, all it takes is a couple of hundred thousand votes to swing Ohio and snatch the presidency.

You would be behind bars if you ignored a federal judge.  But every time there has been another court ruling come down on Ohio’s early voting, I have called the board of elections and asked whether those early voting hours were in effect.  And every time the same answer, “No early voting the three days before… orders from the Secretary of State… there is an appeal pending.”  The Secretary of State has said he doesn’t want to confuse Ohio voters by changing the hours to comply with the court while it is being appealed.  So his website and local Board of Elections sites showed no early voting hours available during that time, until the Supreme Court finally said “or else”.  And the early voting flyer I received in the mail from the Secretary of State didn’t show them.  The local print and broadcast media had no idea until the Supreme Court decision.  Even the Obama early voting info website didn’t show them.  Even though by law, those hours should have been in effect.  The damage has been well done.  Ohio voters are completely confused and disgusted. 

That’s pure vote suppression, designed to discourage Democrats from voting.  Husted’s true motives were revealed months ago when he attempted to block early voting in highly Democratic precincts only.  Sure, it seems outlandish, over the top, so outright outrageous that people can’t wrap their heads around it.  But that’s why they can do it.  At stake right now in Ohio, control of the American people (that’s you), their money and their lives; both Obama and Romney have been camped out here in Ohio for months.  If Jon Husted doggedly continues to follow his Koch Bros directive to confuse Ohio’s election process and stifle Democratic votes, he should be locked up until the election is over.  Ohio Boards of Elections need to encourage people to vote, instead of disenfranchising them. 

An encouraging bit of information.  As of Tuesday Oct 16 when I voted, twenty percent of Ohio’s registered voters had already voted early.  And seventy five percent of them were Democrats.  It’s possible that the grassroots thing in Ohio is working, and that Democratic Ohioans are determined not to be bulldozed. 

It’s up to you Ohio:
      - ID requirements are a hassle, but not impossible.  Go to the
        “Ohio Secretary of State” website
        http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/elections.aspx to learn official
        voter ID requirements. 

      - You can vote early during the week, daytime and evenings at
        your local Board of Elections.  Call them or visit their website for
        hours and info. 
      - Owing to the Supreme Court’s decision, early voting hours are
        also posted for those all-important three days right before the
                                Sat    Nov. 3rd   8:00 am - 2:00 pm
                                Sun   Nov. 4th   1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
                                Mon Nov. 5th   8:00 am - 2:00 pm

      - Ask your local Democratic Party or Obama headquarters about
        obtaining transportation to vote. 

      - If you can’t get there in person, mail-in absentee ballots are
        available on your local Board of Elections website or they
        can mail one to you. 

      - All this info is also available on Obama’s voting website
        http://vote.barackobama.com/en/OH/early-voting/ or call
        Obama’s vote hotline 800-311-VOTE. 

      - Or for voting issues and information visit my music website
        http://www.madogmusic.com and my voting website

      - Anyone interested in using my new song “Gotta Vote” to dress
        up your voting programs, presentations, websites or advertising
        can download the recording for free on

Ohioans, don’t be suppressed.  Find a way to vote.  That’s what it comes down to.  Help someone else find a way to vote.  We all want to be able once again to look at our spouse and say, “Honey, it’s gonna be ok.”  But we have to make it ok.

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