News Release

Will Rightful Voters Be Able to Vote: Ohio and Colorado


Flanagan is the executive director of Colorado Common Cause. She said today: “The State of Colorado should accept registration applications that contain all necessary identifying information, but lack a checkmark in a superfluous box. Currently, the state is treating these applications as ‘incomplete.’ If this policy goes unchanged, thousands of eligible Colorado voters could be denied their rights. This indefensible policy unfairly punishes a significant portion of the Colorado electorate over an unnecessary technicality. Coloradans did their part by filling out voter registration forms with all the information necessary to confirm their identities and in compliance with training manuals put out by the SOS [Secretary of State] office. Now, election officials need to do their part to ensure these people’s votes count on election day. … These applications include all the necessary information for establishing eligibility and should therefore be counted.”

Based in Ohio, Fitrakis co-wrote the article “Critical U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Against Rovian GOP Vote Meddling May Prove Temporary.” He said today: “The GOP has sued Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, demanding that she release to county boards of elections lists of registered voters whose information does not precisely match government data bases. The right to vote of such registrants — by most estimates as many as 200,000 in Ohio alone — could then be challenged on a case-by-case basis. By all accounts, the discrepancies are usually caused by typographical errors in numbers entered for the Social Security administration and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Rarely do such discrepancies indicate fraudulent behavior or illegitimate registrations. … Last week the Supreme Court ruled that the Republicans ‘are not sufficiently likely to prevail’ in their argument that such discrepancies pose a significant threat to the legitimacy of the electoral process. The Court also ruled that the GOP had no standing as a private organization to file such a suit.”

Fitrakis added: “The idea of massive fraud by voters continues to be proven as a hyped-up myth. The Cincinnati Enquirer has provided a detailed analysis of Ohio’s more than 8 million registered voters and found that problems involving illegitimate voting are minimal. … Since 1953, only six Ohioans have been sent to prison for voter fraud, according to the Columbus Dispatch.”

Background: The Clevelend Plain Dealer reports: “After the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed an Ohio Republican Party lawsuit seeking to force Brunner to cross-check about 700,000 newly registered voters this year against a state driver’s license database, Republican fundraiser David Myhal re-filed a similar case in the Ohio Supreme Court. … A federal judge, whose earlier ruling in an Ohio elections case was overturned on Friday by the U.S. Supreme Court, has kicked a similar Republican lawsuit against Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner out of his court and back to the Ohio Supreme Court.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167