WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democrats in battleground Ohio say Republicans in their state and across the country are trying to make it harder for Americans to vote, but Republicans say that’s nonsense, citing huge early voting turnout.
“They clearly are making efforts to suppress the vote,” Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said, saying it’s a tactic to ensure President Donald Trump’s victory. “President Trump once said that if everybody votes, Republicans lose.”
He said Republican state election officials have limited each county to one drop box to collect early ballots.
“There are three counties that have close to a million or more than a million people. One drop box makes no sense,” Brown said.
“How can you claim the votes are being suppressed when we’re having record turnout and it’s not even Election Day?” wondered Hans von Spakovsky of the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation.
While it’s true that a record number of Americans have cast their ballots early, Brown credited successes grassroots groups working to get out the vote.
The Southern Poverty Law Center says it is worried not early voting, but rather Election Day itself.
“The real concern has to do with what we call voter challenges,” Nancy Abudu of the organization said. “That’s a voter showing up to the polling place and then some other citizen showing up there with a list saying that, ‘I don’t believe this person is a proper voter.'”
Von Spakovsky said that concern is overblown, too.
“This kind of thing just hasn’t been happening,” he said, citing laws that ban voter discrimination and intimidation.
The Southern Poverty Law Center said voters should alert a poll worker and request a provisional ballot if they encounter problems at the polls.