Keep Election Honest in Ohio

One of the keys to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has been a claim Republicans are trying to make it difficult or impossible for some voters to cast ballots.

But thoughtful people in both major political parties worry that without some safeguards, vote fraud may occur. And the Obama administration seems determined to cast aspersions while doing little or nothing to help election officials guard against fraud while ensuring everyone who can vote legally is able to do so.

Ohio is a case in point. It has become a battleground state in the November election, with both Obama and his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, courting Buckeye State voters frequently.

Analysts say more than 20 percent of the people listed as registered voters in Ohio probably are not eligible to vote legally.

There can be a variety of reasons for such ineligibility. For example, it is not uncommon for people’s names to remain on a county’s voter registration rolls long after they have moved away. Election officials often point out it is exceedingly difficult for them to keep voter rolls entirely “clean” because they simply don’t have enough staff to continually check whether those registered in their counties still live there – or are even alive at all.

In February, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, asking for a meeting to discuss how to get people ineligible to vote off registration lists without risking action that might be detrimental to legitimate voters. In other words, Husted wanted to do what Holder and his boss, Obama, claim is their goal – to ensure that every honest vote is cast and counted, while lessening the possibility of fraud.

Holder never responded to Husted’s letter, according to a published report. The Department of Justice refused to comment on the matter.

Clearly, there is little enthusiasm in this White House for any kind of campaign to curb election fraud – even if such action is coupled with steps to safeguard the rights of legitimate voters. Holder and Obama seem determined to thwart those interested in honest elections. That should not play well among Ohio voters of either party who want every honest vote to count.