Democratic Secretary of State candidate Nina Turner says the key responsibility of that job and of government overall is to encourage people to vote. And as Kabir Bhatia from Ohio Public Radio station WKSU reports, Turner claims Ohio isn’t fulfilling that mission.
Nina Turner told the Akron Press Club she’s unhappy about how Ohio’s Congressional districts are drawn every 10 years. The state senator from Cleveland says the current method is part of a partisan approach to suppressing voting rights.
“So you have elected officials who cannot win elections with better ideas or strong candidates," she said. "Those in power have decided they want to rig the system. Voters should choose their elected officials and not elected officials choosing their voters.”
But Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted says he’s been proposing a bipartisan redistricting board since 2006, when he was a state senator.
“They would be limited by rules," he said. "That you wouldn’t be able to break up counties. That you’d have to keep the districts compact…and really to speak, instead of to the extreme left or extreme right, where elections seem to be decided in primaries these days, it would make sure that the districts were competitive.”
Husted says he’s focused on getting online voter registration implemented before next year’s election.
Turner says she’s in favor of that, and any other means, such as by mail or in-person, to expand access to voting. But she took issue with Husted’s appeals last fall to end early voting on the Friday before election day.
“Appeal after appeal even though different levels of the court had rejected him, he continued to appeal, wasting taxpayer’s dollars," she said."He could have stopped at any time, fighting to take away the last three days of early voting.”
In the past, Husted has said he wants to maintain rules for all voting locations throughout the state.