The New York Times is stirring in its sleep

Thank you, Bobby Kennedy!

June 7, 2006
Editorial
Block the Vote, Ohio Remix

If there was ever a sign of a ruling party in trouble, it is a game plan that calls for trying to win by discouraging voting.

The latest sign that Republicans have an election-year strategy to shut down voter registration drives comes from Ohio. As the state gears up for a very competitive election season this fall, its secretary of state, J. Kenneth Blackwell, has put in place “emergency” regulations that could hit voter registration workers with criminal penalties for perfectly legitimate registration practices. The rules are so draconian they could shut down registration drives in Ohio.

Mr. Blackwell, who also happens to be the Republican candidate for governor this year, has a history of this sort of behavior. In 2004, he instructed county boards of elections to reject any registrations on paper of less than 80-pound stock – about the thickness of a postcard. His order was almost certainly illegal, and he retracted it after he came under intense criticism. It was, however, in place long enough to get some registrations tossed out.

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