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Report On Bob’s Debate And OH 18th Dist. Green, Connie Gadell-Newton

Graphic of state of Ohio with a flower growing in the middle

At the same time Green Party candidate for county prosecutor Bob Fitrakis was debating Democratic candidate Zach Klein, a Columbus police officer with a history of questionable shootings killed Tyre King, a 13-year-old African American. King’s shooting occurred less than a block away from Fitrakis’s Near East home.

In a sad and tragic way, the timing was fatefully surreal. The two candidates were sparring over what’s the best way to end police shootings of African-American men and children.

But it wasn’t fate at all. Bob Fitrakis has been fighting back against questionable police shootings of African-Americans for much of his working life, and if Columbus and the rest of the nation, for that matter, would have listened to Fitrakis a long, long time ago, Tyre King may be alive today.

On the other hand, career politician and current city council president Zach Klein, who’s jumped back and forth from Democrat to Republican so to further his ascension, has no record of denouncing questionable police shootings.

Fitrakis of course is also editor of The Columbus Free Press. During the debate Fitrakis argued what needs to be established so to investigate and hopefully end these needless deaths.

“I have no problem with an independent prosecutor,” Fitrakis told the crowd during a candidate’s forum at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church. “I just don’t think it goes far enough. I believe that there needs to be an independent civilian review board, with subpoena power, that is elected from the area commissions, and that is responsible in these shooting cases.

“Part of the problem is the tremendous hold the FOP has on elected officials,” Fitrakis said. “That has to stop. We need not only an independent prosecutor, we need a civilian review board with an auditor. We need real citizens from the high-crime neighborhoods. We should be able to elect people from those communities, because they’re the victims.”

As for his opponent that fateful night, it was more of the same, which is making some progressives seethe. Zach Klein not only opposes a civilian review board with subpoena power, but also an independent prosecutor to investigate fatal police shootings.

The left’s discontent with the Democratic Party has been building for some time and now hitting a boiling point with this election cycle. And it’s not just because of where candidates stand on issues; the Green Party isn’t backed by Super PACs or billionaires, and the mainstream media, either. Even aligning yourself with Democrats is making progressives go Green.

“We have been hit by this storm, this whirlwind of support that basically started on the day that Bernie endorsed Hillary,” Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein said at the party’s national convention. “Suddenly, the floodgates opened in our fundraising. Unsolicited money just started pouring in. So, in the last three weeks, we’ve actually raised as much money as we have in the entire year-and-a-half of the campaign until then. So it’s a whole new ball game.”

The Green Party storm is reverberating nationally and spreading locally.

Constance Gadell-Newton is the Green Party candidate for the Ohio House of State Representative 18th District race, which encompasses Columbus, Grandview Heights, German Village, Franklinton and the Near East. She’s a Near East resident and also Fitrakis’s law partner. When she decided to run she considered it an “experiment.” But after Bernie lost the nomination, it became much more than a chance to test the waters.

“Strangers were taking out their phones and donating on the spot,” says the 36-year-old Gadell-Newton. “I know how much $100 is in a personal budget. That could be coming right out of their grocery bill. As a candidate when someone gives me that amount of money I have to take this seriously and respect the people who are supporting me.”

Gadell-Newton says one of the biggest revelations during her candidacy was how easy it was to get on the ballot. Now when she’s out campaigning she’s telling as many people as she can that running as a Green Party candidate is “totally doable, especially in local small races.”

“That’s one thing I am surprised about,” she said. “I only needed 25 signatures. Major party candidates need 50 signatures. For people who are interested in change, running for office takes a lot less energy than passing a ballot issue, for instance, which takes thousands of signatures.”

She says victory this election cycle may be elusive, so she’s positioning herself for 2018 and 2020. But for now, running as a Green Party candidate during this election cycle of chaos is having serious influence on the overall debate.

“Even though we may not win, Green Party candidates are able to influence the political dialogue and that’s something I’ve seen with Bob’s (Fitrakis) prosecutor race. He’s very outspoken about the issues he cares about and he’s pushing the other candidates to the side of Black Lives Matter, for instance.”

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Trump’s Racist “Rigged Election” Attack is as Old as America

by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman

Trump in front of flag with red baseball cap on

Donald Trump speaking at a rally in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Photo by Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump’s demand for “monitors” at polling places to prevent a “rigged election” is an old and ugly story.

It’s obviously aimed—-KKK style—-at stopping black and Hispanic citizens from voting.  But in fact both major parties have used such terror tactics—- and updated electronic ones—-since the birth of the nation.

The cure—-we call it “the Ohio Plan”—- is scorned by both corporate parties:  universal automatic voter registration, transparent registration rolls that can be easily monitored, a national holiday for voting, and universal hand-counted paper ballots that stay in one place and are tallied (and re-tallied) in full public view.

The “rigged election” story dates back to the Constitution.  Its Electoral College gave a three-fifths “bonus” to slave owners for blacks who could not actually vote.  The race card carried through Jim Crow segregation and the KKK terror unleashed against post-Emancipation blacks who dared try to vote.  It continues through the Drug War and the tens of millions of African-American and Hispanic citizens stripped of their freedom and franchise.

Today it’s being done by computer programs that quietly eliminate millions of black and Hispanic voters from the registration rolls.

In Florida 2000 Gov. Jeb Bush stripped some 90,000 mostly black and Hispanic citizens off the registration rolls in an election decided for his brother by 537 votes.  In 2004 GOP operatives did it again to some 300,000 Ohioans in a state Bush won by 118,775.

In moves that Trump should love, between the 2004 and 2008 elections, in a state with about 5.5 million eligible voters,1.25 million Ohioans were de-registered. In 2012, the number purged was 1.1 million. So far this year, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has de-registered over a million Ohio voters, more than 600,000 clearly eligible to vote and on the rolls of their county boards of elections.

Photo ID, limited polling station access, machines that break down, provisional ballots that don’t get counted, absentee ballots that don’t get sent, elimination of days to vote, deliberate official misinformation and intimidation—-all do exactly what Trump wants.  They eliminate the “threat” of non-white voters.

In reporting on Trump’s assertions, the New York Times quotes Ohio’s GOP Secretary of State Husted as the “voice of reason.”  But like other Republican Secretaries of State across the US, Husted is aggressively stripping millions of black and Hispanic voters from the registration books.  Nationwide, tens of millions of exactly the kinds of people Trump doesn’t want to vote will have been stripped off the voter rolls come November.  Much of this is explained in Greg Palast’s new film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

As Michelle Alexander has explained in her New Jim Crow, tens of millions of blacks and Hispanics have been stripped of their votes since Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs in 1971.  Alongside filling history’s biggest gulag with about 2.2 million prisoners, America’s Drug War has anchored the GOP’s Southern Strategy by stripping blacks and Hispanics from the rolls in southern states where they comprise some 40% of the potential electorate.

Neither Trump nor his mainstream critics mention mass incarceration’s “twin” means of election rigging:  electronic voting machines.   Some 80% of this year’s votes may be cast on touchscreen and other computerized devices that are absurdly easy to flip.  The courts say the corporate-owned source code is proprietary.  So there’s no meaningful accountability.  Allegedly safe Scantron paper ballots are easily manipulated with corrupted tallying machines.

Significant computer manipulations helped rig GOP presidential victories in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, and critical down-ballot elections elsewhere.  These include 2014 US Senate races in North Carolina, Colorado and Alaska that now loom large in terms of who might or might not be confirming new Supreme Court appointments.

Corporate-sponsored critics brand this “conspiracy theory”.  But neither they nor Trump can answer this most basic question:  “how, in fact, do we verify the legitimate tally of votes cast on electronic machines with no effective paper trail, i.e. the vast majority of those that will be cast this November?”

If we’re to have meaningful elections in the future, they must be conducted on paper  ballots that are held at their precincts in transparent containers that do not move.  Those ballots must be counted in public, by hand.  Voter registration should be open automatically to all citizens, with registration rolls open to the public and easily monitored.  Voting should be open to all on the basis of a signature.  And we need a national holiday for voting so working people do not have to pay with their jobs for exercising their democratic rights.

The “Ohio Plan” would also eliminate corporate money from our elections, end gerrymandering and abolish the Electoral College.

This coming election, up and down the ballot, could indeed be “rigged”.  But it will happen exactly counter to what Trump says.  Rather than eliminating millions of black and Hispanic voters, as he wants, we need to guarantee their franchise.  We must be able to verify their presence on registration rolls.  We need to make sure they have reasonable time and place to cast their ballots—-free from KKK/Trump-style thugs intimidating us all.

Above all, as they now do in Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, Romania, Japan and Canada, we need to cast our votes on paper ballots that are safety stored and counted by hand, preferably by our nation’s high school and college students, and our elders.

Maybe then, Trump or otherwise,  we can begin to think of America as a country where elections really aren’t rigged or stolen, stripped or flipped.

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Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman’s STRIP & FLIP SELECTION OF 2016:  FIVE JIM CROWS & ELECTRONIC ELECTION THEFT has just been chosen as one of America’s most censored stories ( http://projectcensored.org/4-search-engine-algorithms-electronic-voting-… ).  It’s available at www.freepress.org, along with Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES.  Harvey’s SOLARTOPIA!  OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH is at www.harveywasserman.com, along with AMERICA AT THE BRINK OF REBIRTH, available in 2017.

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James E. Moss, President of Police Officers for Equal Rights (POER) Endorses Bob

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PRESS RELEASE October 19, 2016

I have known Bob Fitrakis on both a professional and personal basis for over twenty-six years. The more I know about him, the deeper my respect for him becomes. He is a person of high moral and ethical standards. He is a man that has h both depth and breadth of character, of interests, of professionalism, of scholarship, of political responsibleness and of faith. He is the consummate role model: a man who leads first by example. Bob exhibits tolerance and respect for everyone without regard to their economic status, gender, race, color, national origin, age or sexual persuasion. Bob’s commitment to the African American community and equal enforcement of the U.S. Constitution has been unwavering by his action.

Bob has been recognized extensively for his commitment to the improvement of law enforcement, social welfare, voting rights, and human rights. When people were talking about disfranchised of African American voters in Ohio, Bob was filing law suits and using social media to bring this issue to the forefront throughout the United States. He has always supported the Police officers for Equal Rights. (P.O.E.R.). Since the concept of our Community Breakfast on Martin Luther King, Jr’ Holiday (1995), Bob has given financial support every year and he has been our guest speaker on several occasions. He has missed one breakfast only because he was ill. He has supported our efforts for police reform by using his newspaper, The Free Press to publish our information. Also, I have been a guest numerous times on his radio talk show.

When the POER organized a march from John Waddy’s Law Office to First AME Zion Church against police brutality, Bob marched with us When the late great Bill Moss and I marched against racial profiling by the Columbus Police Department: Bob marched with us! Bob has always been with us for justice and equal protection under the law which is the right of every citizen guaranteed by the U.S. constitution. Bob has always been in the struggle for civil rights in our community. He is not a visitor in our community because he lives in our community.

The surging murders of unarmed African American men and youth have created an atmosphere of distrust of law enforcement and our criminal justice system. We need someone in the Franklin County Justice System that we can trust. We need someone with high ethical and moral values. We need someone with track record of doing the “right thing” in the criminal justice system not the “the same white thing.” Mr. Ron O’Brien and Mr. Zach Klein have been absent in the African American Community on issues that has plagued our community: police brutality, racial profiling, and police shooting of unarmed African American citizens. They have never supported the P.O.E.R. including our Community Breakfast. We need to send a strong message to Mr. O’Brien and Mr. Klein. Let’s bring integrity and justice to the Franklin county Prosecutor Office.

           Join my friends, neighbors, the Police Officer for Equal Rights and citizens of Franklin County and vote for a NEEDED CHANGE: Vote for my friend, Bob Fitrakis of the Green Party for the office of Franklin County Prosecutor on November 8, 2016.

James E. Moss, President of Police Officers for Equal Rights

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Joe Demare, Bob Fitrakis, Connie, Kirk at WBNS 10 “Let Joe Debate” Protest

Joe Demare, Bob Fitrakis, Constance Gadell-Newton, Kirk Bampton speak out against Joseph Demares (Green Party candidate for US senate in Ohio) exclusion from debates at WBNS TV Oct. 17. Next Stop Cleveland City Club! Call and demand equity/free speech! If you can show up for protest, the world will appreciate it. Address: IDEA Center at PlayhouseSquare 1375 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44115 Thursday at 6 PM – 8:30 PM October 20th

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October 17, 2016 – The tragedy of Tyre King’s death

Bob interviews Mark Stansbery, a friend and coach of Tyre King and they discuss the boy’s life and the tragedy of his death.

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Free Press’ Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman awarded for 4th Most Censored Story of 2016

Project Censored logo and statue of liberty

Project Censored has chosen Search Engine Algorithms and Electronic Voting Machines Could Swing 2016 Election as the 4th “Most Censored Story of 2016” with contributions by Free Press writers and editors Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman.

“Because courts have ruled that source code is proprietary, private companies that own electronic voting machines are essentially immune to transparent public oversight, as Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis documented,” Project Censored wrote. “On Democracy Now! and elsewhere, Wasserman and Fitrakis have advocated universal, hand-counted paper ballots and automatic voter registration as part of their ‘Ohio Plan’ to restore electoral integrity.”

Every year for 40 years, Project Censored, located at Sonoma State University in California, has chosen the 25 most censored stories of the year.

To read about Project Censored and their top censored stories of 2016, go to:

http://www.cvindependent.com/index.php/en-US/news/features/item/3367-censored-stories-2016-the-10-big-stories-the-media-has-largely-missed-or-ignored-over-the-last-year

or

http://projectcensored.org/

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Breaking News: Our David v. Goliath battle begins in Ohio!

The Latest Update on Our California exit polls September 28, 2016

boblori

I am writing to inform you of an amazing opportunity available to you to possibly effect a major change in our system of reporting vote counts in the United States. For years, as we have reported to you. Edison Media Research has refused to release the raw data they gather during their exit polls. Raw data from exit polls is adjusted to fit the vote totals that come in from our vote tabulators across the country. The Media Consortium which hires Edison Media Research (EMR) uses the vote totals coming in from the tabulators as the real vote count. Normally, in other countries, exit poll data is supposed to show you what the real vote totals are. If the exit polls differ significantly from the computerized vote totals, the winning politician may be winning from electronic vote manipulation as opposed to the vote of the people.

As you may know, there was a highly significant, unexplainable difference reported in the exit polls in the Democratic primary for twelve states this year between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Although Bernie appeared to be winning more votes than Hillary, based on the voters leaving the polls, at the end of the day there was a huge discrepancy in 12 states between the exit poll data and the official vote awarded Clinton. When attorney Cliff Arnebeck, an associate of attorney Robert Fitrakis requested that EMR release its raw data on the Democratic primary,EMR not only refused to release the raw data but canceled all further exit polls for the remaining primary elections. An emergency exit poll that TrustVote.org sponsored in three counties in California, Alameda county, Santa Clara county and Contra Costa County revealed thatBernie Sanders won over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary by 7.9% rather than 3.1% as shown in the California Secretary of State’s website. It appears that the votes in these counties were electronically manipulated.

Robert Fitrakis together with the support of many small donors associated with TrustVote.org was able to file a lawsuit against EMR.  Please click on the PDF links below to read a copy of our original lawsuit. Baker & Hostetler LLP, the law firm connected with Edison Media Research reports a company income of $650 million dollars a year. They have responded to our lawsuit with a motion to dismiss it.

The donation totals of TrustVote.org are only a tiny fraction of this amount. Battling Baker and Hostetler and Edison Media Research will be truly a David v.Goliath battle! If we win in this lawsuit, Bob Fitrakis has been willing to fight Baker and Hostetler’s motion to dismiss the TrustVote.org lawsuit for very little. Nonetheless, Bob estimates that still we will need at least $20,000 more to pursue this lawsuit against Edison Media Research all the way to the end.

If we prevail in this lawsuit, we will be able to see the raw data collected by EMR during the last primary. Bernie Sanders will be able to see the more accurate percentages of votes that he really received before the exit polls were edited. And both the USA and the rest of the world, will become aware of the editing of American exit polls  that happens routinely in the higher office elections in the US on a regular basis.

$4500 was already raised by TrustVote.org donors to start this lawsuit and maintain it up to this point. THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all of your donations thus far!! Can we count on you to contribute more to help us win this lawsuit? Many TrustVote.org donors have donated small amounts towards these very important issues. Whatever you can give, large or small will be DEEPLY appreciated! With many people donating $10 and $20 dollars, the total contribution amount begins to mount up. And, just yesterday, a TrustVote.org donor has agreed to match any of your donations dollar for dollar!

So the battle has really begun! Come help us transform elections in our country, have a voting system we can count on and  create a true democracy here in our country!

Very Sincerely,

Lori Grace

 

Here is what Robert Fitrakis writes about the lawsuit against Edison Media Research.

In the case of Johnson v. Edison Media Research (EMR), plaintiff, Pete Johnson and his counsel, Robert Fitrakis filed a motion on September 20, 2016 to keep the case from being dismissed.

The legal filing notes that, “Edison Research is the exclusive provider of election exit polls to the National Election Pool consisting of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, MSNBC and the Associated Press….” Johnson points out, “The results of the ‘exit polls’ that EMR conducted on March 15, 2016 during the Presidential Primary Elections in the State of Ohio did not match the actual election outcomes when the votes were counted.

Johnson’s Reply Brief goes into great detail to establish the cozy relationship between the Ohio Secretary of State and the monopoly exit poll provider for the media consortium. Edison admitted that “The information is delivered through a secure web application on Election Day.”

Lori’s note: A secure web application means an information feed that is not available to the public. In other words a secret information feed.

The Brief states: “The Ohio Secretary of State regularly provides EMR with detailed records of voter demographics and actual election outcomes after the votes are counted, and allows EMR to conduct ‘exit polls’ near polling places.”

Johnson v. Edison is all about the secret collusion between a government official, a monopoly entity that adjusts election results to match the official outcome without transparency, and a giant media consortium, that could also be called a cartel. The crux of the complaint against Edison is in page four of the Brief: “After the Ohio Secretary of State provided EMR with those voter demographics and actual election outcomes, EMR adjusted the results of its ‘exit polls’ to match them.”

The Brief argues that, “The information gathered and disseminated in ‘exit polls’ goes to the heart of the democratic process, the process of obtaining the information in ‘exit polls’ requires a significant discussion between pollster and voter, and “exit polls” provide a valued source of data about voter behavior.”

Many of the same concerns about exit polling were raised by U.S. Representative John Conyers, Jr. in a January 20, 2005 open letter to Edison Media Research. Conyers pointed out that the adjusted exit poll numbers provided by Edison in the 2004 presidential election were “virtually impossible as a statistical matter.” Conyers issued Edison a “…request to receive the actual raw exit poll data that you obtained.” Edison refused to cooperate with the Ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.

Johnson v. Edison is another attempt to end the non-transparency in the U.S. voting process, one that allows private for-profit companies to secretly program the voting machines and tabulators with proprietary software, but also allows Edison to secretly adjust exit polls numbers to support the statistically impossible.

Bob Fitrakis, the attorney for Johson, argues that: “Edison needs to come clean and become transparent. These Democratic primary exit polls, had they occurred in another country, would have caused at least 12 of the 26 Democratic primary elections to be invalidated.”

Below are the three PDFs of the lawsuit. The first one is the original lawsuit against Edison Media Research by Bob Fitrakis, the second PDF is Edison Media Research’s response to our lawsuit. The third one below is our response to Baker and Hostetler’s motion to dismiss our lawsuit.

Complaint Exit Poll PDF

Edison Research Motion to Dismiss PDF

Filed Memo Opposing Edison Research Motion To Dismiss PDF

 

voteThe California Election Integrity Coalition and
The Institute for American Democracy and Election Integrity
present

Was your vote counted? Are you frustrated with the results of the California primary? Was your group’s efforts to observe the ballot count process suppressed by your county’s election office (aka Registrar of Voters)?

Maybe your experience was great. Either way, we want you to join us for our upcoming Take Back the Vote: An Emergency Conference to Prepare for Upcoming Election(s), happening October 8th and 9th, in Richmond, California.

Among many other election related topics, we will be training poll workers and precinct monitors on irregularities to watch out for, on Election Day. Our mission is to ensure every ballot is counted as cast. Let’s do the work to create a real Democracy!

The goals of this conference are the following:
1) Build a broader base of individuals who are aware of election issues
2) Train the next generation of poll workers and monitors
3) Encourage concerned citizens to organize statewide (to do 1 & 2)
4) Educate voters about their voting rights

The focus of the conference has recently been expanded to include issues around election integrity across the country which will possibly impact the outcome of both the 2016 Presidential election and senatorial and congressional election results for both parties across the United States.

If you can’t attend, please donate to sponsor the event and/or an individual’s participation.

WHEN
Saturday, October 8, 2016 at 9:30 AM – Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 5:00 PM (PDT) –

WHERE
Grace Lutheran Church – 2369 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804

COST and REGISTER
Only $25 for the weekend.

Register Here

California Election Integrity Coalition
Organizer of Take Back the Vote: An Emergency Conference to Prepare for Upcoming Election(s)

Editorial note by Lori Grace: The final solution that we all would want is paper ballots that are counted ideally by people in elections that can be fully observed and audited.We know that this will not be our option for this year. We can only put out this intention. Hopefully, the United States will one day become more like Germany, Ireland, Iceland and Switzerland.

Learn More Here
Please stay tuned to trustvote.org and our up-coming articles and events, where we will be looking at what we can do to create more reliability in our November elections!
To Support the California and Ohio Lawsuits Please Donate Today!

Sincerely,

Lori Grace

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Mass Ohio Voter Purges Begin

By Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman

October 3, 2016

husted-in-court

Sunday, October 2, 2016, the Columbus Dispatch reported that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted refused to mail absentee ballot applications to over one million Ohio voters.

Husted refused to mail to 1,035,795 registered voters. Those left off Husted’s mailing list include 650,730 registered voters who had changed their address. Of these, 568,456 moved within the Buckeye State and are still eligible to vote. The other 82,274 moved out of state and are presumably ineligible to vote.

The key target of Husted’s deregulation scheme are the remaining 385,065 voters who are registered at their current residence but simply failed to vote in the 2012 or 2014 federal elections.

Husted has had these voters harassed by their local Boards of Elections sending them letters demanding they verify their address. Failure to do so could lead to the voters’ deregistration and has led to them not being offered an absentee ballot. Social science data shows that the crux of Democratic Party voters move more often and vote less often than Republicans. Husted’s strategy is to purge poor and minority voters from Ohio rolls.

A U.S. federal court had recently blocked Husted’s strategy of just outright mass purging minority, young and mostly Democratic voters. A recent 2-1 ruling by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals halted various Husted practices including the removal of any voter who hadn’t voted in six years in Ohio, even if they remained at the same address.

However, the ruling did not block Husted from doing an end-run by using the absentee ballot application mailing to eventually deregister voters.

Husted has never been able to explain why, in a state that requires ID at the polls to verify a voter’s address, any voter would be removed from the computerized voting rolls. There’s no logical reason other than partisan politics to purge a registered voter in a computer era.

Overall, Republican Husted has targeted 13 percent of Ohio’s registered voters for absentee ballot disenfranchisement.

Also, voters who received Husted’s absentee ballot application mailing may have noticed the specific instructions on the envelope to the post office not to forward the mail to a new address, although the post office can return it to the sender. Husted’s office has used the return of two pieces of mail intended for the same voter to the secretary of state’s office or county board of elections as a reason to purge that voter.

Husted also admitted to the Dispatch that some of his absentee ballot applications got lost in the mail. Husted, who claims to be a fiscal conservative and has in the past refused to have backup paper ballots at polling sites because of the cost, cannot seem to explain why he is mailing more than 6.5 million absentee voting applications anyway.

Husted has allowed his office and the county boards of elections, without explanation, to disable their electronic audit logs that are built into central tabulators as well as certain county ballot scanning machines.