Earlier this year, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) signed a sweeping voter suppression bill which shortens the state’s early voting period, bans in-person early voting on Sundays, and prohibits boards of election from mailing absentee ballot requests to voters. In 2008, four in 10 votes in Ohio’s capitol city were cast using methods that would be eliminated by this anti-voter law.
It is now almost certain, however, that Kasich’s war on democracy will not impact the 2012 election. According to the Ohio Democratic Party, the secretary of state just certified that Ohio voters submitted nearly all of the signatures they need to suspend this law until after it is ratified or rejected by the entire state electorate in November 2012:
Under Ohio law, if about 231,000 voters submit signatures seeking a referendum on Kasich’s anti-voter law, the law is automatically suspended until the next election and it is repealed permanently if the law fails that referendum. Indeed, that is exactly what Ohio’s voters recently did to another one of Kasich’s signature bills, his sweeping attack on workers’ rights. With more than 221,000 signatures already certified and more than 150,000 more signatures on the way, it is all but certain that Kasich’s attempt to suppress the vote in 2012 will fail.