The state of Ohio will be choosing its preferred Democratic nominee by way of the primary voting method on March 15. For many in their late teens, this is the first time they’ve ever cared about an election and certainly the first time they’ve had a chance to speak via their votes. But in Ohio, at a time when we want more youth involved in the process that will affect them for years to come, Ohio Secretary Of State Jon Husted has barred 17 year old voters from participating in the primary elections.
Ohio State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) issued a response to Sec. Jon Husted’s directive that excludes 17-year-olds from presidential primary voting. Ohio has permitted those who will be 18 years old before the November election to vote in the presidential primary since 1981.
“I was astonished to learn that 17-year-old Ohioans who will legally become adults before the November election are now being prohibited from having a say in the direction of their country at the presidential ballot box during the primary. Ohio’s pro-voter practice that welcomes young adults into the process has been on the books since 1981,” said Clyde.
After examining current law and past directives, Clyde says no precedent exists for Husted’s new voter exclusion. The new order that excludes 17-year-olds from voting for a presidential nominee is here on page 7-6. The non-partisan elections advocacy group Fair Vote also disagrees with Husted’s new decree.
“Secretary Husted’s latest underhanded, backroom attack on our most fundamental freedom should have us all concerned – about this and about his repeated claims he has made it easier to vote in Ohio – when in fact he continues to find ways to make it harder,” Clyde continued.
3503.011 Qualifications of electors for primary elections.
At a primary election every qualified elector who is or will be on the day of the next general election eighteen or more years of age, and who is a member of or is affiliated with the political party whose primary election ballot he desires to vote, shall be entitled to vote such ballot at the primary election. Effective Date: 03-23-1981
It goes with out saying who will benefit the most during the Democratic nomination process from this appalling move of blatant voter suppression. Of course it is Hillary Clinton. You may recall that back in May of 2015, when Hillary Clinton looked to be inevitable, her legal counsel Marc Elias slapped Ohio with a federal lawsuit aimed at curbing alleged voter suppression tactics.
But that was before they were taking Bernie Sanders or any other candidate seriously. They were already looking beyond the actual nomination process and looking instead towards the general election. So now that they will actually benefit from this, will they continue the fight? What about her supporters that know how much support Sanders has among the youth? Will they be true Democrats and stand up to this insanity if it means more votes for their opponent?
What I’d also like to know is where is DNC Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s response to this? She should be attacking Husted hard on this issue with a team of lawyers and it needs to be done now! If she stands by silently, this will further cement the belief that she has been “secretly” helping Clinton in every way she can.
I think this move only goes to prove that the Republicans themselves know Clinton is a much easier foe than Sanders and are actually trying to help her. I mean think about it, they are fully expecting her to implode surrounding the FBI investigation, so if they can help her get the nomination, in their minds they have a much better chance of taking over the White House.
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