Jon Husted

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted

Close elections like this always expose the unseemly lack of competence in our federal elections, the main decisions of which are left up to partisan elected officials in the states. This Jon Husted guy in Ohio is starting to make past Republican Secretaries of State like Katherine Harris and Ken Blackwell look like, well, the nonpartisan folks at the Congressional Research Service.

First, Husted set out a series of rulings to limit early voting, punish voters for listening to poll workers, and a variety of other regulations that it took massive pushback in the courts to overturn. As I noted earlier today, Husted just got a win on this front, when an appeals court ruled that Ohio can throw out ballots from the “wrong precinct,” even if the right precinct voted in the same polling place and poll workers either mismarked the voter rolls or told the voter to get in the wrong line.

Now we learn that a data glitch caused the loss of over 30,000 state voter registration updates:

A small fraction of Ohio voters’ absentee ballot requests may have been mistakenly rejected due to a recently discovered glitch in the transfer of change-of-address records.

Even though the deadline for voters to register or change their address was three weeks ago, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted just this week sent about 33,000 updated registration records to local elections officials. The local boards had to immediately process the records to ensure those voters could properly cast a ballot in the Nov. 6 election.

An unknown number of absentee ballot applications across the state have been rejected due to the delay because election officials did not have some voters’ current addresses.

He just didn’t send the data. And as a result, an untold number of absentee ballot data was simply rejected. Those voters may not be able to get to the polls, the main reason for requesting an absentee ballot. They could vote early, if they can manage it. But this is more just an example of how Husted has put his thumb on the scales of this election in the most pivotal state. And remember, he has to count the votes, too.