Cincinnati Public Schools in Voter Bribery Scandal

By Jason Beahm on October 22, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

What's wrong with a public high school loading a van full of students during school hours, showing them sample ballots that only include democrats and then taking them to vote?

Nothing, according to the Cincinnati Public Schools system. The school system "expressly denies" that it did anything wrong. For a healthy dose of confusion, they then promised never to do anything like it again.

So what now? A lawsuit, naturally. Republican Thomas Brinkman and the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending & Taxes have filed a lawsuit against the Cincinnati Public Schools system. According to the lawsuit, the students who were all registered voters were taken to the polling stations "clearly with the intention of instructing [them] how to vote," and then given free ice cream afterwords. Brinkman called the ice cream voter bribery, reports.

Brinkman attorney Chris Finney said that the vans came from a local church after being coordinated by a teacher at the high school. "We wanted to stop this activity, to stop the buses from rolling and the one-sided nature of the contact," Finney told "We want academic freedom ... We want these kids exposed to the full range of ideas, and this order from the judge requires that," Finney said. In fact, Finney thinks that this incident is not limited to Cincinnati. Though he did not provide additional details or evidence, Finney suggested that the "voting bribery" is taking place throughout the state.

Brinkman wants a permanent injunction issued preventing students from being "subjected to partisan political activities," as well as the trip declared a violation of Ohio law and district policy. In addition, Finney wants the Cincinnati Public Schools to pay his fees, or at least $10,000.

It will be interesting to see how the alleged voter bribery case plays out. If the facts are as Brinkman alleges, it certainly does not look good for the Cincinnati Public Schools and any Democratic candidates involved. At the same time, it seems unlikely, though not impossible, that a candidate would put themselves at jeopardy for the sake of a couple dozen votes.

Related Resources:

Copied to clipboard