11 October 2008

Ohio sheriff rekindles voter suppression fears

Attempts to probe new registrants jeopardize system

Dennis J. Willard - Beacon Journal Columbus Bureau - Oct 11, 2008

COLUMBUS: Greene County, in Ohio's southwestern corner, is home to Xenia, the little Americana town that was devastated by a tornado in 1974 that killed 32 people, destroyed more than 300 homes and blew the roof and windows right off the county courthouse.

Last week, an ill wind of a different sort from a not-so-distant past blew into Greene County, carrying with it reminders of the nation's sorrowful history of racism, intimidation, voter suppression and a warning that we're not at that mountaintop yet.

[...] Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, an African-American who was one of the first elected officials in Ohio to support Democrat Barack Obama, said Fischer's actions were reminiscent of another notorious law-enforcement officer from the past: Bull Connor, who turned dogs and water hoses on African-American demonstrators in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963.

''Am I now going to be investigated because I exercised my right to vote?'' Coleman asked.


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