Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R), apparently not satisfied with restricting state-wide early voting hours, has now admitted he wants to reduce the number of valid IDs voters can show at the polls. A leaked audio recording of a Tea Party event in Cincinnati caught the Secretary reassuring Tea Party members that the Legislature plans to push strict voter ID requirements that he once opposed:
I was listening to a show one night about these onerous photo ID rules in Ohio. Well, the photo ID law in Ohio is not onerous. As a matter of fact, I suspect the GA [General Assembly] will take up a more strict version of what we have after this election process.
Husted went on to say “we need to streamline” the number of currently eligible voter IDs, and he is “quite confident” the Legislature would take the issue up after the election:
Husted seems to have changed his mind since last year, when he declared, “I would rather have no bill than one with a rigid photo identification provision that does little to protect against fraud and excludes legally registered voters’ ballots from counting.” Ohio’s voter ID bill failed in the Senate, partly due to Husted’s public break with his party.
More recently, Husted’s office has been flooded with criticism over his directive limiting voting hours in spite of requests from multiple election boards to stay open on weekends. He’s also in hot water with a federal judge after he resisted a court order to restore voting hours on the last weekend before Election Day — although Husted ultimately backed down after the judge ordered him to appear in court.