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FitzGerald Requests Federal Investigation on Voter Suppression in Ohio

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Media contacts:   
Rich Luchette: (216) 698-5637, (216) 797-0931, or rluchette@cuyahogacounty.us

Action comes one day after Statehouse Republicans threaten to hold county funding hostage

CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald today requested that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach launch an investigation into recent efforts by state lawmakers to limit early, mail, and provisional voting in 2014.

“As a former FBI agent, this is not a decision that I make lightly, but a thorough investigation is clearly warranted to examine the recent actions that would make it harder for working men and women to vote in 2014,” said FitzGerald. ”I am especially disappointed that, unless they get their way, some politicians in Columbus are willing to hold hostage taxpayer funds that help ensure public safety here in Cuyahoga County. It is disturbing that anyone in government would use these funds as a political bargaining chip to get their way.”

In recent weeks, the Ohio General Assembly passed and Governor John Kasich signed into law several measures that would make it more difficult for Ohioans to participate via early, mail, or provisional voting – including a ban on county boards of elections from sending mail ballots to all registered voters.

After FitzGerald introduced legislation that would ensure Cuyahoga County retains its ability to send applications countywide, House Republicans attached an amendment to the Mid-Biennium Review that would impose a 10% cut in funding on any county that sends out mail ballot applications. In Cuyahoga County, this could mean $1.7 million less for police, fire, and other emergency operations.

The text of FitzGerald’s letter to Attorney General Holder and U.S. Attorney Dettelbach is embedded below and a PDF copy is attached to this email.

Click here to read the letter to Eric Holder, Jr., U.S. Attorney General