Friday, October 12, 2012

Ohio voter's issue cases this morning reports that "the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a key ruling dealing with a problematic aspect of Ohio's electoral rules that kept a Hamilton County judicial race undecided for 18 months, declared that Ohio must count provisional votes cast in the right polling place but wrong precinct because of poll worker error., upholding the earlier ruling by U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley, and meaning that thousands of ballots that otherwise could have been tossed out instead may help decide whether President Barack Obama or Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney wins the state’s 18 electoral votes --- What’s not known is whether Ohio will appeal Thursday’s decision, as Secretary of State Jon Husted did in another case earlier this week involving Ohioans’ right to cast early in-person absentee ballots on the final three days before the Nov. 6 election.”

Ohio isn’t the only state so embroiled. A BusinessWeek article this morning notes “at least 15 pending nationwide over election law limits on issues such as early voting, registration and identification in the run-up to the Nov. 6 vote. Yesterday, South Carolina became the fourth state to be blocked from requiring voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot, a special panel of three federal judges in Washington ruled that given the time left before the election, requiring photo ID at polling stations puts a burden on minority voters that violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965. “Proper and smooth functioning” of a key protection in the South Carolina law can only be assured in elections after this year, the judges said. (Here)

“ ‘Even assuming the best intentions and extraordinary efforts by all involved, achieving that goal is too much to reasonably demand or expect in a four week-period -- and there is too much of a risk to African-American voters for us to roll the dice in such a fashion,’ U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh said in the ruling.”

The BusinessWeek article also mentioned similar cases underway in Vermont and Texas.

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