Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Thwacking Blackwell


Blackwell ends paper chase

Some could be unable to vote because of flap over registration forms

Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Catherine Candisky

Under fire from voting-rights advocates, Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell retreated yesterday from a directive that critics said would slow voter-registration efforts and even block some people from casting a ballot Nov. 2.

At issue is a reminder Blackwell issued this month to county boards of election that voter-registration forms must be printed on "white, uncoated paper of not less than 80-pound text weight," a heavy, cardlike stock.

While the Franklin County Board of Elections and others have continued accepting forms submitted on lighter-weight paper, some county elections officials said yesterday they have been disqualifying registrations because the paper was not thick enough.


Last night, a spokesman for Blackwell denied that the GOP officeholder was trying to prevent people from voting and said county boards should accept voter registration forms on paper of any weight as long as they are otherwise valid.

"We’re not the paper police. We’re not going to go to county election boards and review voter registration forms," said Blackwell spokesman Carlo LoParo. "We want them to process the forms."

But LoParo disputed suggestions that Blackwell was reversing his Sept. 7 directive, which states that "any Ohio form not printed on this minimum paperweight is considered to be an application for a registration form. Your board should mail this appropriate form to the person listed on the application." LINK (Bugmenot Login: password: asdf)

Hey, Mr. Blackwell!

Many Americans have died to defend our rights, including our right to vote.

They didn't lay down their lives for a Republican Secretary Of State's attempt to disenfranchise voters by requiring forms printed on "white, uncoated paper of not less than 80-pound text weight."


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