When officials in Hamilton County Ohio decided to move the coroner’s crime lab to a new, larger location outside of downtown Cincinnati, it was thought to be a good deal. After all, a large hospital network let the county buy one of their old locations for only $1. But when a proposal was made to move the Board of Elections to the new site as well, people were justifiably alarmed. That move would also mean the largest and most accessible early voting location in Cincinnati — where more than 21.7 percent of the population doesn’t own a car and in the 2012 election 24,151 people voted early — would relocate far away from accessible public transportation.
Despite a bi-partisan unanimous vote by the Cincinnati City Council opposing the move, the Board of Elections split on the issue 2-2 along party lines; causing a deadlock decision. The deadlock will be broken by a decision sometime in the next few days by serial vote suppressor, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted — the same person who shortened early voting hours across Ohio this election cycle. He also tried to take away early voting in the last three days before election day in 2012, traditionally the busiest for early voting.
Now Huberty, who has shown there isn’t an early voting suppression tactic he won’t try, is on deck to decide whether Cincinnati’s largest early voting site will be moved out of the center of the city, where anyone can access it easily, to a remote location where a voter would need to walk half a mile from the last bus stop nearby just to vote early. The big question is, will this “administrative relocation” prove also to be a massive case of camouflaged voter suppression aimed at disenfranchising seniors, students, and low-income voters who don’t drive? Sadly, it’s not an unreasonable conclusion to draw.