Well, I guess the system works after all, or at least a few isolated parts of it, at least. Only a few hours after my previous post about Ohio’s attempt to block voter registration efforts through bureaucratic nitpicking, the news media started reporting that thanks to sudden and loud criticism, Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has retracted his previous command that any registrations that are not on 80-lb paper be discarded. Not only that, but he denies that it’s even a retraction, because he really wanted all the forms to be processed after all:
[Blackwell Spokesman Carlo] LoParo said Blackwell wants election officials to process the lightweight registration forms and send the applicants a form on heavier-stock paper to return for a permanent record.
That was news to election officials in two counties, who said they have not been processing forms on underweight papers, per Blackwell’s directive.
In Pickaway County, Elections Director Johnda Perkins said her office already has sent letters and new forms to dozens of voters who registered on lightweight paper, asking them to return the heavier-weight forms.
Voters whose forms were disqualified have quickly responded by re-registering, she said.
In Madison County, Elections Director Gloria Herrel said her office has been sending a letter with an appropriate-weight registration card to would-be voters as their lightweight forms arrive. She could not estimate the number involved.
It sounds like the “I was just joking, I didn’t mean it,” defense is riding again.