Fired Dem elections officials sue Ohio Secretary of State

Updated
By Versha Sharma

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted of Ohio is being sued by two Democratic elections officials for wrongful termination amid a dispute over early voting.

“I really believe this is a concerted effort to restrict voters in Ohio,” former board of elections member Dennis Lieberman told Al Sharpton on PoliticsNation Monday night.

Lieberman and Thomas Ritchie were dismissed last month by Husted after they voted in favor of weekend early voting hours for the presidential election in November—the same schedule the counties followed in 2008. That stance goes against a Republican-backed law that ended early voting on the weekends for everyone but the military. 

In a lawsuit filed by the Obama campaign, a judge ruled that early voting hours must be extended for everyone. Husted is appealing the ruling.

“What he’s trying to do, in my opinion, is suppress the vote,” said Lieberman. In Montgomery County, where Lieberman was on the board of elections, 29,000 people voted early in the last election, over 40% of whom were African-American, he said. More than 100,000 people voted early across Ohio in 2008, when Husted was the Ohio co-chair of John McCain’s presidential campaign.

Ritchie said their lawsuit is not about money, but about “making sure all people have equal access … it’s about doing the right thing.”

“You can get another job, but you can’t get another conscience,” agreed Lieberman. “It’s ridiculous to suggest that in Ohio you can buy alcohol on Sundays but you can’t vote.”

See the full text of the lawsuit here.

Al Sharpton and Ohio

Fired Dem elections officials sue Ohio Secretary of State

Updated