Dominion of New York


August 21, 2012

Ohio GOP Leader: I Don’t Want to Help Blacks Vote

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Written by: Kelly Virella

Illustration courtesy of Flickr/EN2008


ell, I guess this clears things up a bit and we can stop arguing over why Republicans are introducing voter ID laws and other restrictions.

The Nation magazine reports that an Ohio GOP leader bluntly said he advocates voter restrictions because he doesn’t want blacks voting.

Why do Ohio Republicans suddenly feel so strongly about limiting early voting hours in Democratic counties? Franklin County (Columbus) GOP Chair gave a surprisingly blunt answer to the Columbus Dispatch on Sunday: “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban—read African-American—voter-turnout machine.” Preisse is not some rogue operative but the chairman of the Republican Party in Ohio’s second-largest county and a close adviser to Ohio Governor John Kasich.

What Preisse is supporting is Ohio’s latest voter suppression shenanigan. There, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted just cut off his nose to spite his face by expanding the voter restrictions initially placed only on Democratic counties to all Ohio counties. Now, no one in the state can vote on weekends or after 7 pm. Great.

The restrictions stand to impact hundreds of thousands of Ohio voters, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

A study by Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates says that even after Husted’s directive last week, the hours when more than 200,000 Ohioans voted in 2008 have been wiped out.

A study by the Franklin County Board of Elections shows that 48 percent of early, in-person votes in 2008 were cast after hours on weekdays, on weekends or on the Monday before the election — almost none of which is available to 2012 voters.

Preisse wants to stop African-Americans from voting, but the restrictions are so broad that the GOP is making things harder for all working people. I wouldn’t be surprised if in classic fashion, he’s only using race to disguise the rest of his plan: to stop working class and middle class whites from throwing his party out of office.


About the Author

Kelly Virella
Kelly Virella lives in an East Harlem walk-up with her husband, her bicycle and her books. She's worked as a journalist for 11 years and started this website during the summer of 2011. She fell in love with New York City during her first visit here as a 16-year-old and finally made good on her promise to move here in April 2010.


Official portrait from his tenure as US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.