May 4, 2010

Breaking: ORPINO Operatives Are Handing Out Slate Cards at Polling Locations

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:25 am

I’ve been voting in Ohio for 35 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this.

At the second of the two polling locations I have visited thus far today, an operative from ORPINO (that would be the Ohio Republican Party In Name Only) was there. “Joe,” who looked to be in his mid-20s, was so proud of what he was doing that he wouldn’t tell me his last name, though I told him mine. “Joe” was handing out shiny slate cards promoting ORPINO’s endorsed candidates, as well as the incumbent State Central Committee member they claim to have endorsed but didn’t, at least when such literature and mailings were first created a few weeks ago (they may have endorsed since).

My mission was to hand out literature promoting the candidacies of Thea Shoemake for State Central Committee and Seth Morgan, CPA for State Auditor. I dutifully promoted Morgan as the only CPA on the ballot to voters passing by on their way into the polling place. Apparently this got good ‘ol “Joe’s” goat, as at one point he responded with, “Well, let me tell you about the real Republicans.” ORPINO apparatchik “Joe” appeared to be continually reporting his take on whether a given voter or voters appeared likely to support the party’s candidates over a cell phone or similar data device. This would seem to indicate a heavy and highly coordinated effort involving lots and lots of ORPINO’s peeps (some of whom may have been imported from out of state).

I seriously doubt that “Joe” was working for free, or is taking a day of unpaid vacation.

This ORPINO presence at the polls during a primary is probably unprecedented. I certainly can’t recall anything like it in the 35 years I’ve been voting. The expenditure of financial resources continues to be breathtakingly irresponsible, and should further infuriate John Kasich, Mary Taylor, and Josh Mandel.

The group at this particular location also included Jennifer Black, twin sister of Jean Schmidt, who went on and on with arriving voters as to how wonderful Dave Yost is, and how he has put lots of criminals away. That would be nice if Yost were still running for Attorney General, Jen, but he’s not.

“Joe” figured out that yours truly is the proprietor of this humble little blog, and revealed such when there was a discussion in the group. As I left, I suggested that he avoid using the term “real Republican” in describing his candidates, thereby inferring that Morgan, O’Brien and Shoemake are not. I know ORPINO isn’t big on social conservative things, “Joe,” but there is a Commandment that has to do with telling the truth.

Related: Current reports are that turnout has been very light. My theory is that traditional Republicans might be a bit more likely to vote earlier in the day, and that Tea Party-sympathetic voters are a bit more likely to turn out in the afternoon and early evening after work. In other words, I think this is working to the advantage of Morgan and SOS candidate Sandy O’Brien.



  1. “Joe” wasn’t me. I voted for Morgan and O’Brien and left DeWine blank.

    Comment by Joe C. — May 4, 2010 @ 11:31 am

  2. …and quite a few of their license plates are from out of state. Nothing like calling in the calvary to defeat the very people you need to GOTV for you in November. Good luck with that.

    Comment by Anon — May 4, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

  3. #1, LOL.

    #2, just when you think you’ve seen it all …

    Comment by TBlumer — May 4, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

  4. You cannot hand out literate at a polling location.

    There’s a free zone inclusive of and around the polling location for no soliciting. Any literature, signs, et al promoting a candidate must be outside that zone. A voter should inform the poll workers, a poll worker should go to the parking lot and ask the campaigners to go away. You must leave (i.e. outside the 50 feet, or whatever it is the distance, safe zone) so that voters can park and enter the polling location without being bothered. If you refuse to leave, you can be arrested for loitering and interfering with an election.

    Noone should be handing out literature at a polling location. Noone should even be standing at a polling location entrance with a sign.

    The poll workers set out a Flag, and the “Vote Here” signs. Inside, they post a bunch of instructions and the voter lists. Since public places are used (churches, libraries, senior centers) there may be residual signage from the facility but no campaign literature should remain posted. The workers themselves cannot wear campaign buttons, and are encouraged to avoid other symbolic attire.

    Comment by Cornfed — May 4, 2010 @ 2:52 pm

  5. For what it is worth, I’m one of three candidates for precinct executive in my Green Township ward.

    Only 50 people had voted by 1 pm.

    Comment by theMachiavellian — May 4, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

  6. Place two flags 100 feet from the entrance to the polling location, to indicate the point outside where campaign activity may take place. Campaigning is not allowed within 100 feet of the entrance, or in other words, inside the limit created by these flags. However, exit polling is allowed in this area if it does not interfere with the voters or poll workers.
    - Click on “I am a member of the public”
    - Click on “5. Arranging the Polling Location”
    - Click “Next” until you get to the topic “Signs Outside”. It even has a video.

    This might jump you directly to the page:

    Comment by Cornfed — May 4, 2010 @ 2:59 pm

  7. #4 and #6: This is all occurring just outside the 100-foot-zones.

    Comment by TBlumer — May 4, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

  8. [...] second miss is not mentioning the Secretary of State race. The ORPINO poll location slate-card operation is as much about protecting Jon Husted from an upset victory at the hands of Sandy O’Brien as [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — May 4, 2010 @ 6:26 pm

  9. [...] of control-obsessed, counterproductive, go-along get-along dingbats on the right who would rather empty their treasuries than see genuine sensible conservatives prevail. Comments [moderated] [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — May 10, 2010 @ 9:08 am

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