It seems that someone is challenging the residency of Ted Strickland, the Democratic candidate for the Governor’s seat here in Ohio. Apparently Strickland has more than one residence, one in Lisbon (Ohio) and one in Columbus, and he votes in Lisbon; however, the complaint says that Columbus is his real address, so he should be disqualified to vote in Lisbon. Thing is, as I understand it, if he’s not qualified to vote, then he can’t run for governor. The local voting board tied on party lines as to whether Strickland is qualified to vote in Lisbon, and in cases where there’s a tie on these matters, the issue gets booted upward to the Secretary of State’s office.
Who is the Secretary of State? Kenneth Blackwell, Republican candidate for Governor.
Bwa ha ha ha ha hah ha hah!
Ohio has a law barring Blackwell (or anyone in his seat with a similar situation) from personally adjuctating an issue which affects his campaign, so the issue was handled by one of Blackwell’s assistants. That assistant has sent the issue back to the county voting board, telling it that its members failed to conduct proper investigation into Strickland’s residency, so they have to do it again. That’s where it stands at the moment. Strickland’s campaign folks say he has voted in Lisbon before; presumably no one complained then. If after the investigation the voting board takes another 2-2 tie vote on the matter, off it goes again to Blackwell’s office, to the same appointee, who will then apparently have to make the call.
All of this, incidentally, transpiring after the deadline for Ohio voters to change their residency.
I can’t even imagine what’s going to happen if someone in Blackwell’s office, who Blackwell appointed, decides to throw Ted Strickland off the voter rolls and possibily disqualifing him from running for governor. Especially because Blackwell is trailing Strickland by double digits in most polls at the moment. Any Democratic spin doctor worth his or her salt would hold it up as a perfect example of how the GOP can’t win in the marketplace of ideas, so it has to resort to dirty tricks. The voters already have trust issues with the GOP this election year; this would be the feculent icing on that particular nasty cake, or, to torture another metaphor, the straw that breaks the elephant’s back.
To be clear, I deeply doubt Strickland’s going to get disqualified from the gubernatorial race here in Ohio. That just seems nuts. But there’s that little paranoid man in my brain, the one that goes Ken Blackwell tried to disallow voter registration cards in 2004 on the basis of paper weight! Of course one of his lackeys is going to do this!!! Anarchy!! Anarchy!!! I’m having a hard time shutting that guy up these days.