Tea Party Groups Want Ohio Voters Purged

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

"Too much of this is going on for this not to be a coordinated effort," said Tim Burke, chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party. He was referring to the efforts of Tea Party groups to remove names from the state's voter rosters in what they say is an attempt to prevent ballot fraud.


The Rev. Rousseau A. O'Neal, one of a group of black ministers from Cincinnati who provide buses to take African Americans to the polls, is more explicit. He calls the project — which has identified names for purging that include hundreds of college students, trailer park residents, homeless people and African Americans in counties President Obama won in 2008 — "bigotry of the highest order."

The interesting thing is, he's not the only one acknowledging the racial dimension of the controversy. GOP Chairman Doug Preisse, who supports the purging efforts, recently told the Columbus Dispatch, "We shouldn't contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine." At least he's honest? From the Los Angles Times:

The tea party groups, scattered around the state, have joined forces under the banner of the Ohio Voter Integrity Project. It is an offshoot of True the Vote, a Texas organization that has recruited volunteers nationwide to challenge voter rosters and work as poll watchers.

True the Vote was founded by Catherine and Bryan Engelbrecht, a couple who run an oil field equipment manufacturing firm in Rosenberg, Texas.

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.

So far, every county election board that has reviewed the dorm challenges found them invalid.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.