I'd like to take the opportunity, before we get closer to the 2012 election cycle and things change for the worse in the Buckeye State (and as I prepare to step off the grid, and into the mountains for the bulk of the week), to laud Ohio's new Republican Sec. of State Jon Husted for his willingness to stand up for voters by bucking his party and standing against the polling place Photo ID restrictions the GOP is working to implement in his state.
Husted made his opposition plain in a statement late last month, after attempting to work with the General Assembly in order to craft an acceptable election reform bill [emphasis added]:
As The BRAD BLOG has had to explain far too many times over the years --- as based on empirical academic studies and even hard data from George W. Bush's own Dept. of Justice --- legislation implimented in order to restrict access to the polling place as based, ostensibly, on assertions of the incredibly rare crime of voter impersonation at the polls, is meant to do nothing more than suppress voters --- specifically, minority, urban, elderly, and student (read: Democratic-leaning) ones.
Some 18% of the country's legal electorate in this country do not possess the type of IDs required by these laws, and are likely to be disenfranchised or forced to pay a poll tax in order to exercise their legal right to vote, even though polling place impersonation is almost as rare as unicorns and leprechauns.
To that end, while I suspect we may end up taking various issue with Husted's positions or rulings in the future on related matters as the 2012 Presidential election looms in the always contentious state of Ohio, we'd just like to go on record for the moment here, to congratulate him for his intellectually honest stand on behalf of the voters of his state on this particular issue.
Thank you, sir.
P.S. Here's a slightly --- but only slightly --- more cynical take on the above.