October 18, 2008

"Deters subpoenas voter records"

The Cincinnati Enquirer offers this must-read report, which begins: "Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, who serves as John McCain's Southwest Ohio campaign chairman, has requested personal information for some individuals who registered and immediately cast a ballot during a weeklong period that ended earlier this month."

Just the first few words of the report give me pause. If a county prosecutor chooses to take on such a political position during the election season, might there not be grounds for recusing himself from an investigation that could directly benefit his candidate?

Substantively, there are concerns that such activities could violate the Voting Rights Act and other federal voter protections. When an Ohio sheriff tried something similar last week, he quickly backed down after protests from civil rights groups.

Posted by Rick Hasen at October 18, 2008 10:54 PM