“Election falsification” and other voting issues in Ohio (updated)

Update, March 27: The Columbus Dispatch reports statewide officials say prosecution for Limbaugh is very unlikely: “lying through your teeth and being stupid isn’t a crime.” Ari Melber’s Limbaugh’s Lying Voters Under Investigation on The Nation’s Campaign Matters blog has a lot more.

Kim Zetter’s The Mysterious Case of Ohio’s Voting Machines, on Wired’s THREAT LEVEL, has context for Ohio in general. From earlier in the month, Lingering questions in Ohio and Uncounted delegates & Ohio’s delegate math on Dan Tokaji’s excellent Equal Votes Blog cover the equally-important non-Limbaugh issues.

(originally posted March 7)

streets blocked outside the polling location

Art House Queen’s picture of the streets blocked surrounding the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections symbolizes voter disenfranchisement across the state. They ran out of ballots in Sandusky County and Franklin County; voting machines broke down in Montgomery County and no doubt elsewhere; a dozen computer memory cards spent the night in the back of a sherriff’s van in Lucas County before being counted; in Obama stronghold Cuyahoga County, voter privacy was compromised and huge numbers of provisional ballots still haven’t been counted.

The Secretary of State is “very pleased”, citing it as improvement over 2004 despite horrible weather; and very importantly, the move to paper ballots in Cuyahoga County went well, and the state’s pressuring Diebold to refund the $21 million for the decertified voting machines. Democracy in America, 2008. Nothing to see here, move along, move along …

Except …

This time there may be a new wrinkle. Scott Isaacs has been following the issues in Butler County, and broke an interesting story: under Ohio law, Republicans who followed Rush Limbaugh’s call to “pimp yourself for a day and vote for Hillary” appear to have committed election falsification, a felony, punishable by six to twelve months in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

Scott’s got quotes from the Ohio election code, and links out to a discussion board with several Republicans saying things like “I have voted for the Demonicrat Hillary Clinton. may God have mercy on my soul”, and

It was painful…

At least I didn’t have to sign a “Pledge of Allegiance” to the Democratic party hahah

A friend that works with me (from Portage County) had to sign a “Pledge of Allegiance” to the Democrat party upon receiving the Democrat Ballot. It has wordage in it similar to the American pledge of allegiance, promising to uphold the standards of the Democratic party before all others..or some crap. He said he felt like he was signing the Communist Manifesto haha

What the heck is that? LOL

It’s the law, dude, and you just confessed on the Internet to breaking it. Just in case there was any ambiguity, somebody posted the election code, and this poster and another said “guilty as charged.” LOL.

Somebody else commented about the pledge supporting the principles of the Democrat party: “I said that would be easy, because they don’t have any. Everybody got a good chuckle as there isn’t a Democrat within 5 miles any direction from where I vote. I then proceeded to cast my vote for Hillary Clinton.” Hmm.

In the comments on Scott’s column, OHJP writes

I was a Presiding Judge in the Ohio Primary and I know many people “crossed parties” and told me they were doing it. I explained that if they were doing it, they were committing election fraud, a felony. Most insisted that they intended to vote Democrat in the fall (clearly uncomfortable but I could not call them liars, as we have no written affidavits anymore), although one man, new to this country, insisted that he was a republican but was voting democrat because he got a PHONE CALL that told him to do it…. I wish we still had the affidavit system, or had something that said that by signing the poll book you were swearing to your affiliation as well as your identity.

Could be interesting. Who knows whether the results, in conjunction with provisional ballots, will be enough to effect the delegate assignments; with luck, we’ll find out. With Limbaugh intensifying the crossover campaign in the ramp to the March 24 deadline for registration in Pennsylvania, we haven’t heard the last of this. And there’s a very interesting question underlying this:

Is Rush Limbaugh, who encouraged his listeners to commit the felony of election falsification, criminally liable?

We shall see …

PS: Some good news: the switch to paper ballots in Cuyahoga County appears to have gone well on the whole, other than running out – a problem that appears solvable if elected officials do math better in the future and stop complaining about having to allow people their right to vote.