Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

Four Ways Ohio Republicans Are Already Stealing the 2012 Elections


The Ohio Republican Party has moved four ways to steal America’s 2012 election.  The Buckeye State is almost certain to emerge as a decider in this year’s presidential election, and the GOP is moving fast to ensure victory, no matter what it takes.

The strategy reflects much of what was done by the Republicans in 2000 and 2004 to steal those presidential elections for George W. Bush, as we report in the newly published WILL THE GOP STEAL AMERICA’S 2012 ELECTION? (now at and soon at

If they get away with it, the Ohio GOP could make it virtually impossible for Barack Obama to carry Ohio this November. In the years since Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, the Democratic Party has made little headway in reforming our electoral system to make such thefts impossible:

1. Since 2009, the Ohio GOP has purged some 1.25 million citizens from the state’s voter rolls. This accounts for more than 20% of the roughly 5.2 million votes counted for president in the state in 2008. The purge focusses on counties that are predominantly urban and Democratic.  ( )

2. Electronic voting machines have been installed throughout the state which are owned, operated, programmed and maintained — and will be tallied—by Republican-connected firms, including Diebold (now Premier), ES&S and Triad. ( )

3.  The GOP controls both houses of the Ohio Legislature, the governorship, the secretary of state’s office, and the state supreme court.  Soon after the 2008 election, it imposed a draconian photo ID law designed to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of suspected Democrats, as is being done throughout the US.  But Ohio is a referendum state.  A statewide grassroots movement recently crushed a GOP-pushed anti-labor law, and many Republicans feared the photo ID law would also go down.  Then Husted was ruled ineligible to hold office over a residency conflict.  Ohio’s Supreme Court re-instated his eligibility, but he was prompted to oppose the photo ID law.  Today a prospective Ohio voter can use 17 different kinds of ID, but in recent elections some poll workers have demanded photo ID anyway.  Without a grassroots army of independent election monitors to protect them, many more Ohioans are likely to be disenfranchised.

4.  In 2004, 10.6% of the votes cast in Ohio were so-called “early votes” via absentee ballots. A voter had to be absent from the county to vote absentee. In-person Election Day voters at the 42 predominantly black inner-city precincts in Columbus waited between 3-7 hours to vote.

In 2005, Ohio election law was modified so absentees could vote without actually being absent from their home county. When Ohio went for Barack Obama with 52% of the vote, early voting nearly tripled to 29.7%. This included voters able to vote in person at locations all over the state for 35 days prior to Election Day, including on weekends.

This summer the Ohio GOP attempted to allow Republican Counties to use weekend voting, while denying the right to counties that are predominantly Democratic.  By banning all voting the weekend before the election, Husted took credit for “leveling the playing field.”  But African-American State Representative Charleta Tavares immediately charged that the exclusion of weekend voting represented a deliberate attempt to suppress Democratic voters, and particularly black voters who voted 95% for Obama in 2008.

On Friday, August 17, while some 500 Ohioans protested outside his office, Husted suspended Democratic Montgomery County Board of Election members Dennis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie, Sr. because they introduced and supported—and then refused to rescind—a motion for weekend voting.

Lieberman told the Dayton Daily News that, “I believe that this is so critical to our freedom in America . . . that I’m doing what I think is right, and I cannot vote to rescind this motion.” Lieberman also argued that the directive did not specifically prohibit weekend hours.

The Ohio Association of Election Officials, overwhelmingly dominated by Republicans from Ohio’s rural counties, endorsed the idea of cutting the final three early voting days. They argued that they needed the extra time over the weekend to prepare for Election Day, although some of the counties have very small voting populations compared to the nine urban counties that support keeping the three final early voting days.   Doug Priesse, Chair of the Franklin County (Columbus) GOP, sparked a firestorm when he explained that   “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter turnout machine.”

The Obama campaign has sued, arguing that weekend voting be restored for all Ohioans, as it has been for members of the military.  The GOP has charged Obama with trying to deny those in the military their right to vote, which would be impossible for him to do.  Husted and GOP Attorney-General Mike DeWine responded with a suit saying:  “There is no fundamental right to in-person early voting.”

By purging registration lists, limiting voting times, messing with voter ID requirements and controlling electronic voting machines, the GOP has a huge leg up on winning what has often been America’s key swing state.

Clearly the Ohio GOP is once again geared up to deny the vote—and vote count—to as many Democrats as it can.  If it succeeds, as it did in 2004, Barack Obama stands little chance of being re-elected.

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman’s new WILL THE GOP STEAL AMERICA’S 2012 ELECTION?, introduced by Greg Palast, is a $4.99 e-book now at  and soon at

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman have co-authored six books on election protection, which are at, along with Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES. HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE US is at, along with his SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH.

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 26, 2016
John W. Whitehead
A Deep State of Mind: America’s Shadow Government and Its Silent Coup
Anthony Tarrant
On the Unbearable Lightness of Whiteness
Luke O'Brien
The Churchill Thing: Some Big Words About Trump and Some Other Chap
Mark Weisbrot
The Most Dangerous Place in the World: US Pours in Money, as Blood Flows in Honduras
Eric Draitser
Dear Liberals: Trump is Right
Chris Welzenbach
The Establishment and the Chattering Hack: a Response to Nicholas Lemann
Sabia Rigby
In the “Jungle:” Report from the Refugee Camp in Calais, France
Linn Washington Jr.
Pot Decriminalization Yields $9-million in Savings for Philadelphia
Pepe Escobar
“America has lost” in the Philippines
Pauline Murphy
Political Feminism: the Legacy of Victoria Woodhull
Lizzie Maldonado
The Burdens of World War III
David Swanson
Slavery Was Abolished
Thomas Mountain
Preventing Cultural Genocide with the Mother Tongue Policy in Eritrea
Colin Todhunter
Agrochemicals And The Cesspool Of Corruption: Dr. Mason Writes To The US EPA
October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases
John Grant
Humanizing Our Militarized Border
Franklin Lamb
US-led Sanctions Targeting Syria Risk Adjudication as War Crimes
Paul Bentley
There Must Be Some Way Out of Here: the Silence of Dylan
Norman Pollack
Militarism: The Elephant in the Room
Patrick Bosold
Dakota Access Oil Pipeline: Invite CEO to Lunch, Go to Jail
Paul Craig Roberts
Was Russia’s Hesitation in Syria a Strategic Mistake?
David Swanson
Of All the Opinions I’ve Heard on Syria
Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future