Ohio Election Officials Fired for Keeping Early Voting Hours
Last week, two Montgomery County, Ohio election officials made headlines when they voted to keep weekend early voting hours against Secretary of State Jon Husted’s orders. In response, Husted threatened to fire them.
After defending their decision by saying that they were acting on behalf of voters, Dennis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie were fired, according to the Toledo Blade:
“After reviewing the report of the hearing officer following the August 20, 2012 hearing, I can draw no other conclusion: You knowingly and willfully violated Ohio election law by not following (the early voting directive) which Ohio law requires you to follow,’’ Mr. Husted wrote in a letter to the board’s chairman, Thomas J. Ritchie, Sr. and member Dennis Lieberman.
“Thus, you are immediately dismissed from the Montgomery County Board of Elections,’’ he wrote.
Early voting rules have caused some tension in Ohio due to the confusing array of state legislation, state directives, and county votes. To address the issue in future elections, the Ohio Senate introduced a bill establishing early voting hours, including weekend voting. Learn more about SB 366 here.
“We do not want to return to the long lines, the hours upon hours of waiting that took place in 2004 when J. Kenneth Blackwell was in Secretary Husted’s job,” Lieberman said in a statement Monday. “Secretary Husted needs to follow Jennifer Brunner’s model in 2008 that led to a historic voter turnout and abandon Blackwell’s 2004 model that was a disaster and made Ohio a poster child for voter suppression.”