Tea Party groups purge Ohio voter rolls

Ohio Tea Party groups have tried to remove 2,100 names from the voter lists

Published September 27, 2012 5:12PM (EDT)

Tea Party groups across Ohio have united to remove about 2,100 names from the voter rolls, mostly in counties that went heavily for Obama in 2008.

Several Tea Party groups have teamed up as part of the Ohio Voter Integrity Project, connected to the Texas organization True the Vote. The purpose, ostensibly, is to prevent voter fraud, though Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has admitted that there have only been a few cases of fraudulent ballots over the last few presidential races.

From the Los Angeles Times:

"In Ohio, election records show, one of the project's top priorities has been to remove college students from the voter rolls for failure to specify dorm room numbers. (As a group, college students are strongly in Obama's camp.)

Voters challenged include 284 students at the Ohio State University campus in Columbus, 110 at Oberlin College, 88 at College of Wooster, 38 at Kent State — and dozens more from the University of Cincinnati, Miami University, Lake Erie College, Walsh University, Hiram College, John Carroll University and Telshe Yeshiva, a rabbinical college near Cleveland."

In addition to college students, Democrats point out that the majority of the voters targeted have been from other demographics that tend to support Obama, including African-Americans and poor people.

Ohio Republicans have also been trying to block early voting on the weekends, when a vast number of African-Americans turn out. Or, as Franklin County GOP Chairman Doug Preisse put it at one point: "We shouldn't contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African American — voter-turnout machine."

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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2012 Elections Barack Obama Jon Husted Ohio Tea Party