Would any election-site official truly inhibit another’s right to cast their vote in a legitimate election? Voter rights are inherent in the Constitution and for anyone to block the path of a legitimate voter not only violates the spirit of the law but depending what state you live in, could violate the letter of the law. There is no specific delineation of a citizens right to vote spelled out in the U.S. Constitution. This right is one of those reserved for the individual states under the 10th amendment. It appears that at least one state in the union however has opened the door to violating this sacred trust.
According to Tanya Somanader with ThinkProgress the Ohio GOP-led House “passed an election law overhaul [that] tweaked the bill to weaken a law mandating poll workers to direct voters in the wrong precinct to their correct voting location. Under the new language, a poll worker need not direct a voter to where they are eligible, adding that ‘it is the duty of the individual casting the ballot to ensure that the individual is casting that ballot in the correct precinct.’”’
Ms. Somanader goes on to point out that over 14,000 votes were lost in Ohio alone in 2008, especially in “urban and impoverished areas of the state,” – where the poor, minorities and elderly tend to dwell – making it the “second most common reason [ballots were] not counted … because while the person was properly registered to vote in Ohio, they cast the ballot in the wrong county or precinct.
Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that there are people capable of denying polling information to certain individuals deemed “unworthy” or likely to vote for the candidate that election official is opposed to.
Allowing someone to work as an election official at a polling site and who is white and tends to view all immigrants with disdain could lead them to deny a Mexican-American voter the information they need to get to the proper polling place to cast their vote. Likewise, someone of middle or upper middle-income who is 40 something might refuse to help an elderly person locate their proper polling place feeling that their vote might impact issues they oppose, like Social Security or Medicare benefits.
I don’t personally see this tweaking of the election law in Ohio leading to mass voter right violations, but why would the Party that wears their patriotism on their shoulder and suit lapels even consider opening an avenue for some hateful constituents to allow even one missed opportunity for one of the few democratic aspects established by the founding fathers?