WSJ: Ohio Republican Election Tacts: "Nothing is off the table."

On September 5, the current Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, Democrat, issued a directive that undeliverable mail was not sufficient to remove voters from the rolls saying she considered the 2006 law unconstitutional and also that every challenged voter must be notified and given a chance to attend a hearing before Election Day.

Kevin DeWine, a Republican in the Ohio State House of Representatives had authored the law requiring that a piece of registered mail with election information be sent to every registered voter in the state–with those whose mail is returned required to show id or vote on a provisional ballot. Voting rights groups say the practice amounts to “vote caging” in which legitimate voters are removed from election rolls because their residency is questioned.

According to Politico, while Republicans are complaining, they have not yet decided to file suit. DeWine, deputy chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, told the Wall Street Journal‘s Amy Merrick (email) for her story today
“nothing is off the table” in terms of election tactics, but he declined to be more specific.

Merrick outlines what happened in the 2004 election in Ohio, when election proactices were controlled by Republican Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell:

the state Republican party used returned mail to challenge the registrations of 35,000 new voters, most of whom lived in urban, heavily Democratic areas.

Not many voters were successfully removed, because “there was so much litigation and public backlash,” said Teresa James, a lawyer in Ohio for Project Vote, a nonprofit voter-registration group. But she said some voters likely were intimidated by the challenges and stayed home.

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