10.01.2008 0

Nice try, Ohio.

  • On: 10/23/2008 17:06:49
  • In: Government Transparency
  • By Robert Romano

    It was a commendable effort on the part of the Ohio Republican Party to force the Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, to verify some 200 thousand voter registrations that did not match government databases, including driver’s license records. It was their best effort to preserve the legitimacy and integrity of the 2008 elections.

    Alas, they failed.

    There is no question, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled, that the Secretary of State is required under the Help America to Vote Act (HAVA) to verify these registrations. That she had not is a matter of record.

    The only problem, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday, was that Congress had not authorized the courts to hear such a case when brought by a “private litigant.” This was an issue of standing. The action needed to have been brought by the government.

    In other words, the Supreme Court is saying that the Attorney General of the United States would have to be the one to bring a case enforcing the HAVA.

    Which is not to say that the Ohio Republican Party did not have a compelling interest in the outcome of the case, or that they are not directly injured by allowing mismatched voter registrations to stand. Indeed, it may well have a direct impact upon the outcome of elections across the entire state in November. Candidates who may have won may now lose.

    The trouble is that under the law, only the Attorney General can bring action to enforce its provisions. Which is clearly a problem. Private litigants, like candidates or parties, that are directly injured by potential voter fraud really ought to have the standing to file suit in such cases.

    Alas, they do not currently under law. Which means that it really is up to the Attorney General to do something. Where is he? Why is he sitting on his hands?

    He should not be. If he does not act on this particular case in Ohio—and on the wider issue of nationwide voter registration fraud by the group ACORN—it is not clear that America will have a legitimate election in 2008.

    Robert Romano is the Editor of ALG News Bureau.

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