For Republican Husted, who obviously has stars in eyes for higher office, he is in no mood to rock the boat among his political friends in a year when the party is active across the land to shear the minority vote. But in Ohio it is also a dreadful reminder of another Republican's jerrybuilt management of the 2004 presidential election in the state.
We go back to J. Kenneth Blackwell, not only the secretary of state but also President Bush's co-chairman of his Ohio campaign. To dismiss any thought that Blackwell was striving to keep his thumb on the scale for Bush would deny the presence of Asian carp in Lake Erie.
From overcrowded voting precincts to all sorts of confusing challenges to voter eligibility, Blackwell rose to new heights in Bush's election apparatus.
Purely as an aside to Husted: he might recall that when Blackwell decided to run for governor on his laurels in 2006, he was thrashed 60-37 by Democrat Ted Strickland. Voters often have a way of remembering, even when politicians try not to.
No county will be impacted more than Cuyahoga, where Democratic officials, organized labor and some clergy are outraged by the GOP's handiwork. "It's Republicans' dirty little secret," declared county Democratic Party Chairman Stuart Garson. "What they are saying is, 'We don't want you people voting'."
Nick Martin, the party's executive director, refers to figures that show nearly 50 pct. of the early voters are African-Americans. (50.9 pct. when linked to Hispanics). The number who could be short-changed could turn an election around across the state. Another batch of figures shows 1.7 million Ohioans voted early in 2008 - a full one third of the total who cast ballots.
The Obama campaign has filed suit in Federal court in Columbus to extend early voting days.
We can hope.