Ohio Mayor Confronts SOS Husted on Voter Purge on Steps of Supreme Court

Nina Totenberg’s report on yesterday’s oral argument begins with this:

JON HUSTED: We believe our state is one where we make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. We make every effort possible to try to reach out to voters to get them registered to vote.

TOTENBERG: After Husted left the microphones, he was confronted by Joe Helle, the mayor of Oak Harbor, Ohio, and a former Army sergeant who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOE HELLE: Because I was an active duty soldier that maintained my home of record…

HUSTED: Absolutely.

HELLE: …In the state Ohio, came back home after defending that right and could not exercise it because of this archaic, terrible policy.

HUSTED: All you have to do is use your right to vote.

HELLE: From a mountainside, sir, while driving…

HUSTED: We email you your ballot.

HELLE: What about our soldiers serving overseas anywhere in the world, riding around in a Humvee, conducting missions 20 hours a day…

HUSTED: We’re for them. We’ll help you…

HELLE: What I know is that I was wrongfully purged along with the plaintiff in this case…

HUSTED: You weren’t wrongfully purged.

HELLE: I was. I was six years serving, came home, couldn’t exercise my right to vote.

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Crowd chanting) Shame, shame, shame.

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