CINCINNATI — Lori Monroe, a 40-year-old Democrat who lives in central Ohio, was startled a few weeks ago to open a letter that said a stranger was challenging her right to vote in the presidential election.

Monroe, who was recovering from cancer surgery, called the local election board to protest. A local tea party leader was trying to strike Monroe from the voter rolls for a reason that made no sense: Her apartment building in Lancaster was listed as a commercial property.

"I'm like, really? Seriously?" Monroe said. "I've lived here seven years, and now I'm getting challenged?"

Monroe's is one of at least 2,100 names that tea party groups have sought to remove from Ohio's voter rosters.

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The groups and their allies describe it as a citizen movement to prevent ballot fraud, although the Republican secretary of state said in an interview that he knew of no evidence that any more than a handful of illegal votes had been cast in Ohio in the last few presidential elections.

Soon or later, the Tea people are going start saying that democracy is too communist, too socialist, too European. What has Hitler got in common with Obama? He rose to power by votes.

But here is how it's going down. Stealing an election is so 2000. Winning an election with money is so 2010. Everyone now knows these tricks. No one is going to be caught by surprise. You need new tricks.