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2008 graduate shares expertise with MSNBC’s Hardball

February 14, 2014 | Alumni

When Hardball with Chris Matthews wanted to examine threats around the nation to voting rights, producers turned toward the expertise of a recent graduate of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

Kathleen Clyde ’08, a Democrat who represents the 68th District in the Ohio House of Representatives, was a guest on the MSNBC program Thursday and discussed pieces of legislation limiting early voting and cuts to funding for submitting ballots by mail.

“The Republicans have introduced bill after bill to try to attack the right to vote in Ohio,” Clyde told Matthews. “It’s under relentless attack.”

Before becoming the youngest elected woman in the Ohio General Assembly, Clyde was an election official at the Franklin County Board of Elections, which covers the City of Columbus and surrounding metropolitan areas. She supervised the operation of Franklin County’s early voting center during the 2008 presidential election. Later, she worked as legal counsel to Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish, concentrating on issues such as equal access to the courts and voting rights. She is regarded as an election law expert in the critical swing state of Ohio.

“(Republicans are) coming right out and saying they don’t want certain people to vote. One of the leaders in the Republican Party in the House said, ‘We don’t want to cater to these voters who take the bus after church on Sunday to vote.’ They’re coming right out and saying they don’t want certain people voting in Ohio.”

Clyde talked about the reforms made in the Buckeye State after the 2004 presidential election, when voters in some parts of Ohio experienced wait times of as long as six hours. “We enacted reforms, made things better, and these Republicans are desperately trying to reverse that,” Clyde said, noting that voter turnout in Ohio was much higher in 2008 and 2012.

Watch the entire segment here.