On Wednesday afternoon, State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, a Democrat, was notified on Twitter that she’d been blocked by an account in the name of Secretary of State Jon Husted. The move came after Husted, a Republican, responded defiantly to Clinton’s criticism of Ohio’s voting policies, among other states, in her speech. Husted, rebutting Clinton, called the state “the gold standard” for election administration.
That led to a series of tweets by Clyde Wednesday mocking the “gold standard” claim. Clyde accused Husted of improperly purging the vote rolls, and failing to mail absentee ballots to around 1 million eligible voters just because they hadn’t voted recently. And she noted, accurately, that Husted has waged a years-long campaign to reduce early voting.
Husted and Clyde also have been sparring over how and whether to advance some of the expansive voting policies Clinton proposed. Though he’s gained a national reputation as an advocate of restrictive voting policies, Husted has long been an advocate of online registration, and he testified Wednesday in support of a Republican-sponsored online registration bill, calling it “a common sense reform that is long overdue.” The bill is expected to pass the Senate, but its prospects in the House are far less clear.
But in a letter sent the same day, Clyde wrote that Husted doesn’t need new legislation to implement online registration. She said it’s already in place, but it currently only accepts registration updates, not new registrations. All that’s needed to change that is for Husted to “switch on” full online registration.
“He’s been talking about this for years. How about some action?” said Clyde in an interview. “This is the type of thing that we should get up and running well before the presidential election in Ohio.”