Kevin Fobbs
Is Ohio depriving Black Voters civil rights by using Jim Crow tactics
By Kevin Fobbs
July 17, 2012

Some Democrat leaders in Ohio are alarmed by the recent decision by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to deep-six extended hours and weekend early voting for the period leading to the November general election. The liberal alarmists' volume has been turned up by recently primary deposed Cleveland-based congressman Dennis Kucinich. He insists that the secretary of state must reverse his decision in order to insure that urban voters have a chance to vote. Kucinich believes that this would be a show of good faith and a "vote for democracy."

Yet, it seems that the soon to be former congressman and his even more alarmist fellow north eastern democrat leaders are counting votes that are simply not reflected in recent voting patterns. In large Ohio counties like Cuyahoga, which is home to Cleveland, the last general election only garnered 1,400 early voters. In fact, according to the election board's records a mere few thousand voters availed themselves of the voting "civil right" in other primaries.

So the true move to eliminate this underutilized voting benefit seems to be more about how to best stretch cash strapped budgets than it is about depriving black and minority voters of their right to vote.

Yet, in what appears to be more about election year race bating than it does about guaranteeing African American voter rights, Warrensville Heights congresswoman U.S. Rep. Marcia L. Fudge decided to ratchet up the non-existent issue by claiming this action taken was a deliberate move to "shave points" in the battle ground state's anticipated close presidential election.

Well here's a novel thought, why don't Ohio democrat leaders get their voter donation collection jars together and offer to pay the costs for keeping all of the state's county election offices open. They claim there is a highly principled and moralistic need to insure voting rights are preserved. Any takers willing to pay...probably not.

Instead it is easier to lodge verbal grenades at Ohio public officials who are making an honest attempt to live within their constitutional mandated budgets and insure that all voters are being served. This is in stark contrast to Cleveland, State Sen. Nina Turner who charged that Husted's action were woefully similar to those dark days of the early to mid 20th century civil rights era when discriminatory Jim Crow voting tactics were used against black voters.

Senator Turner claims that Ohio has become the welcome receptacle of this onerous practice, and publically stated in a published report that, "Jim Crow has packed his bags and is moving north."

There is a serious problem with that ill-conceived scripted analogy. During those highly traumatic days, when Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others marched and fought against voter discriminatory Jim Crow practices, they were marching against congressional, state and local democrat officials who defended those practices and policies. So Senator Turner, before you pull the grenade pin next time, it would be a good idea to speak to some of your more studied democrat colleagues, and allow them to bring you up to speed on some historical facts.

What Ohio is left with is a mid-summer attempt to fire up the democrat and minority voter base in north eastern Ohio urban voter rich strongholds by tossing the race-marker on the election table. For the record, look for more of these thinly disguised attempts to play race politics in other battleground states s well. It's part of the nature of liberal democrats to play divisive politics, defend the divisiveness and then play poor victim to those who repudiate the alarmist practice.

Ohioans are smarter than to let this race-bating practice gain any political legs. Here's a Hope and Change note for democrat leaders, Go forward with a real plan that brings real jobs and cuts real taxes for real Ohio families and jettison this juvenile electioneering. These tiresome efforts only demonstrate Ohio liberal leaders' desperation, not their commitment.

Let me know what you think:

© Kevin Fobbs


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Kevin Fobbs

Kevin Fobbs is founder and president of a policy organization called National Urban Policy Action Council (NuPac), that supports conservative colorblind solutions to universal issues and domestic policies that impact urban America... (more)


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