Who would have ever guessed that a case could be made for returning Republican Ken Blackwell to the Ohio Secretary of State's office considering the mess he made of the voting system back in 2004 and later? From a controversy over provisional ballots, to challenging the paper used for ballots to adding Diebold voting machines (in which he held some company stock) that were faulty - seldom a day passed without having to endure more screwups in his office.
On two occasions, the office accidentally exposed Social Security numbers and names of registered voters. It first released computer discs bearing such goody information listing 1.2 million individuals. Second time around, it gave out the names, addresses and social security numbers of 5.6 million registered voters. Blackwell apologetically called the goofs "accidental". Problem solved.
Well, now we have a secretary of state , Jon Husted, and attorney general, Mike Dewine, creating greater confusion. Earlier reports said Husted, acting under a federal court order, had rescinded his own order shutting down week end voting just prior to Election Day. That much he did and cheers went up that possibly we could count on a normal election. You know, like the 2008 election that had caused so few systemic problems.
But we later learned from published reports all the way up to the national media that Husted, joined by Dewine, had something more in mind, seeking a stay of the court's decision until the state's appeal could complete its course through the courts; i.e., don't do anything until we get back to you, whenever that may be. Husted's Special Counsel, William S. Consovoy, said the delay was intended to avoid confusion.
Plunderbund reported yesterday that this was the same William S. Consovoy who sought an unsuccessful constitutional challenge to the Voting Rights Act in the South. Husted obviously didn't pull Consovoy's name out of the hat to advance his opposition to early week-end voting.
In his appeal, Dewine is now talking state's rights instead of voter fraud, a myth that never went anywhere. I can't imagine the cost of all of these delaying tactics. Worse yet, it is increasingly clear that Husted and Dewine are still hoping to prepare a table for a Romney victory in Ohio, candor and the public interest be damned.
Are you listening, Public?