CLEVELAND -- U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge says "I'm ashamed that Ohio is doing this."
She's talking about legal changes in early voting opportunities made by the Republican-controlled state legislature and signed by Governor John Kasich
The changes reduce evening hours and weekend voting.
Fudge think Republican claims of identical rules statewide are bogus.
She asks why are there 88 separate boards of election in each county and why a requirement of equal voting measures statewide is not in the constitution.
"Ohio has become the butt of jokes in Washington because our governor and our legislature is doing everything they can to prevent certain constituencies from voting, poor people, minorities , the elderly and they are doing it knowingly ...I believe a lot of this is racist. I believe that," she said.
She argues, "You can't treat a county that has two million people as does Cuyahoga with a county that has 10,000 people."
She predicts the changes will cause confusion and reduced turnout asking, saying "Once you give someone an opportunity, why do you take it away?"
She says Ohio is taking a step backward in protecting rights. She recalls Antioch and Oberlin colleges were places where civil rights workers were trained in the 1960's.
Many inner city pastors predict the end of Sunday "souls to the polls" opportunities will reduce turnout.
Ohio's early voting opportunities are in the middle of states offering it, in terms of days and hours.
Fudge spoke with Tom Beres Wednesday. She was in Cleveland, promoting the push to raise the minimum wage.