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Former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee’s Voter Suppression Remark is No Joke

by Clyde Weiss  |  October 18, 2011

No On Issue 2Shame on Mike Huckabee! The former Republican governor of Arkansas and 2008 GOP presidential candidate should know that the basic American right to vote is no laughing matter. Yet he mocked the Constitution last week by suggesting that voter suppression is OK.

As first reported in MasonBuzz, a local blog in Mason, Ohio, Huckabee urged supporters of an anti-worker law known as Senate Bill 5 to try to keep opponents from going to the polls on Nov. 8 to repeal the measure. The bill, which is also known as Issue 2, would deprive workers of their right to have a voice on the job through collective bargaining. The legislation became law in March but was prevented from becoming effective pending a vote on the repeal referendum.

Huckabee, now a FOX News commentator, got a few laughs when he suggested to some 350 GOP loyalists that they suppress the vote of those who want to repeal S.B. 5 by deflating their tires, or lying about the voting location. This is what he said:

“Don't vote alone. Vote with someone – family, friends, relatives, people you work with. Make a list. Make a list of 10 family members, 10 friends, 10 neighbors, 10 folks you work with or have worked with in the past and call them and ask them, ‘Are you gonna vote on Issue 2?’And, ‘Are you gonna vote for it?’ If they say ‘No,’ well, you just make sure that they don't go vote. Let the air out of their tires on Election Day. Tell them the election has been moved to a different date.”

Listen to it here (it begins at about 12:00).

Huckabee’s remark is a slap in the face of the 1.3 million Ohio residents who signed petitions to place Issue 2 on the ballot. Moreover, it is an insult to all Americans, everywhere, who value their right to vote.

By getting Issue 2 on the ballot, Ohioans demonstrated that democracy still works in America. But Huckabee and his corporate-backed supporters would like to undermine it through tricks, or worse. For Ohio’s voters, the way to tell Huckabee that he was wrong is to get out there and cast a ballot.

For more about Huckabee’s remarks, check out this story in Mother Jones. Read more about why S.B. 5 is bad for Ohio’s workers here.

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