To anyone who might still be wondering about Secretary of State Jon Husted's decision to make voting hours uniform throughout the 88 counties, I have a simple explanation to help you clear away the debris. It's called the Husted Hustle, a move that allows him to claim fairness to all voters but effectively helps only his Republican Party.
The losers: the big urban counties that wanted extended early voting hours, including the week end before the election. They merely called for repeating past voting practices. That gave relief to minority voters, the elderly and people who couldn't get away from their jobs before the polls closed.
The winners: All of the Republican rural counties with much smaller populations who can live very well with the excised hours.
The Husted Hustle began with other Republican complaints - voter fraud that called for instant remedies. When the fraud couldn't be shown, the GOP perps stopped mentioning it and turned to other supposed threats to democracy, some of which can safely be called voter suppression to elect Mitt Romney. Some loose-lipped Republicans are now conceding as much.
So where's the fairness? That's what the Husted Hustle is supposed to morph into.
No one will be more delighted by the outcome (if it works) than Summit County Republican Chairman Alex Arshinkoff, who peeled off a cool $150,000 from his county party's treasury to help Husted win the state job in 2010. Happiness loves company. So does misery.
PS: You might be interested in my column on Plunderbund.com re the Republicans attempt to score big points in Northern Ohio.