Leniency leads to abuse

Published 10:28 am Thursday, October 8, 2015

On Tuesday Ohio’s electorate began going to the polls, almost 30 days before the actual general election, through the process of absentee voting. That lets voters go to their courthouse to cast a ballot every day until Nov. 3 or send in a paper ballot whenever they want.

To vote absentee, voters have to fill out an application, which can be brought to them and returned to the election board by anyone. However, the actual ballot must be mailed in or hand-delivered by the voter or a family member.

State and county board of election officials praise early voting and absentee voting, claiming it allows more to be part of the democratic process of having a voice in choosing their representatives on the local, state and national election.

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A noble sentiment, for sure. But also quite naïve.

Their reasoning is, come election day there may be some kind of conflict that would prevent a voter from getting out to the polls, whether it be illness, an unexpected trip out of town or simply laziness.

Since he has been in office, Secretary of State Jon Husted has blanketed the state with unsolicited absentee ballot applications.

So far this hasn’t worked, at least locally. In 2013 there were 47,745 registered voters, but only 11,004 came out to the polls. In 2014 there were 47,839 registered and only 14,771 voted.

Absentee voting doesn’t bring out the voters. But such leniency in Ohio’s rules leads to abuse in the system where ballots can be commandeered by those trying to derail the system for their own political gain.