Another Day, Another MSNBC.com Freakout: ‘Ohio Restricts The Right To Vote'!

Does Zachary Roth ever get tired of hyperventilating over new voting laws being passed across the country? He must not because yet again the MSNBC reporter freaked out over the Republican-controlled legislature “restricts the right to vote.” Just in the last year, Roth has penned more than 50 articles on the subject of voting and how the GOP wants to make it harder for Democrats and minorities to vote.  

The February 20 article began with Roth groaning that “Ohio lawmakers passed two restrictive Republican voting billsWednesday night, raising the prospect that casting a ballot this fall could be much more difficult, especially for minority voters.”

So what exactly are the so-called laws that “restrict the right to vote in Ohio?” First was a bill that would cut six days from the state’s early voting and ended the so-called “Golden Week” where Ohio voters could register and vote on the same day. Roth doesn’t bother to consider that same-day voting might make it impossible for Ohio officials to verify if that voter were in fact eligible to vote. Instead of being an unbiased reporter who considered that perspective, however, he instead chose to hype Democratic state representative Alicia Reece’s melodramatic protest: “In 2014, I never imagined that I would be in a statehouse trying to fight for the rights to vote.”

The other bill passed by the Ohio House would require that the secretary of state receive approval from lawmakers to mail absentee ballots. Roth ignores the fact that absentee ballots are much more susceptible to fraud than in-person voting. Wouldn’t it make more sense to consolidate the absentee ballot voting process to eliminate fraud and standardize the process across the state? Not to Roth, who doesn’t bother to explain why different Ohio counties should have different standards for mailing absentee ballots. The MSNBC.com reporter instead chose to create a cloud of scandal to scare his readers into believing that their voting rights must be in jeopardy and that there's no legitimate reason to reform the balloting process in the Buckeye State.

Roth failed to quote any Republican defenders of the proposed changes in the law, instead turning to Democrat Dan Ramos to whine that “Explicitly or implicitly, this bill [on absentee balloting] disenfranchises those among us who have historically been most disenfranchised.”   The article concluded by lamenting that, “Taken together, all three bills could lead to much longer lines at the polls on Election Day. In 2004, Ohio was the poster-child for Election Day problems, with an estimated 175,000-plus people leaving before casting a ballot.”

Given Roth’s obsession with charging that the GOP wants to block the vote, it seems that the MSNBC.com reporter is more interested in firing up Democratic voters and pushing a liberal agenda then being an objective reporter. Don’t be surprised to see Zachary Roth write another 50 articles this year with the aim of mobilizing the Obama base and poisoning them against any consideration of the merits of Republican-backed voting reform proposals.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.