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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Sunday, October 31, 2004

    Oh, you bad, bad Oh-Flor-id-io-ians 

    Flordians have a love/hate relationship with snowbirds. Ohioblog knows because Blog once was one - a Floridian, not a snowbird. Floridians love the fact that snowbirds feather their state's economic nest, but they dislike the ancilliary problems such as traffic that snowbirds bring during the winter months when it is cold in places such as Ohio. Now, Ohioans also have a reason to add snowbirds to their lists of birdbrain-pains-in-the-butt.

    The Plain Dealer's Scott Hiaasen (whose father is the renown author and Miami Herald columnist, Carl Hiaasen), Dave Davis and Julie Carr Smyth have documented that more than 27,000 voters are double-registered in Ohio and Florida and that as many as 400 people voted in Ohio and Florida in the same election over the past four years.

    Nice reporting. Bad snowbirds. These people have taken the notion of Ohio as the next Florida to a new level - they're making it happen.

    Maybe these bozos think because they live in both places that they should be able to vote in both places. Wrong. A person must live for more than six months (even if it is one day more) to establish that place as a primary residence and Blog would bet the farm that the overwhelming majority of snowbirds from Ohio make Florida their primary residence so as to take advantage of the fact Florida has no state income tax. Other newspapers, the PD reports, have written similar stories documenting the illegal voting registration, if not actual voting, of their snowbirds, and Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood has asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate. (There are no new stories; just good ones borrowed when the situation such as this warrants.)

    Cuyahoga County (6,946) ranks first in Ohio among double-registered voters, with Stark County (2,010) fourth and Summit County (1,321) eighth. The bellwether county of Stark, given its population (378,098) compared with Cuyahoga (1,393,978, is offering the country another election example - though not one to follow.

    Yeah, but what about the double-uncounted?

    Maybe Ohio snowbirds aren't such bad birds, after all. They could only be protecting themselves from the Ohio's (and Florida's) inability to count the votes they cast. The Akron Beacon Journal's Dennis J. Willard and Doug Oplinger report that in 15 precincts in Summit County in the 2000 presidential election at least 10 percent of the votes weren't counted. The punch-card system is the problem. Ohio had $132 million
    from the Help America Vote Act to put toward correcting this with electronic machines. Ohioans wanted to worry about the lack of a paper trail so virtually nothing was done. Now they can follow the paper trail again this week. It will be marked by those little chad from punch cards. Mark another up for Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell.

    Yes, and they would be from whose justice department

    Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta has filed a document with U.S. District Court Judge Susan Dlott in Cincinnati supporting the right of Ohioans to challenge their fellow voters at the polls. Both Dlott and U.S. District Court Judge John Adams in Akron have before them requests from Democrats to declare such challenges to be intimidation and to block their use. For the record: Acosta works for Attorney General John Ashcroft who works for President George W. Bush who, the last time Ohioblog checked, works for the American people, including Ohioans who could be challenged at the polls on Tuesday. What's wrong with this circle of responsibility?

    Voter beware

    Ohioans cannot count on anyone except themselves to protect their right to vote. Go to the polls prepared. Read this. It will help.

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 2:08 PM

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