Advocates for the homeless who challenged the fairness of how Ohio counts some votes have asked the full 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear their case in the wake of a three-judge panel’s decision that reversed their lower-court victory. In a court filing Tuesday, lawyers for the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless and the Ohio Democratic Party argue that panel’s decision conflicts with previous Supreme Court and 6th Circuit rulings. That decision Sept. 13 overturned a lower court’s ruling that said Ohio was disenfranchising otherwise undisputedly eligible voters solely because of technical errors and omissions on voter ballot forms for absentee and provisional ballots. … Lawyers for the homeless coalitions asked for a review of the panel’s ruling by the full 6th Circuit bench, which has more than a dozen active judges.
… The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless and the Ohio Democratic Party sued over Ohio election laws they said unfairly disenfranchised voters casting absentee and provisional ballots. They argued that qualified electors were disqualified for technical mistakes and that the standards used by elections boards to decide which votes counted were applied unevenly from county to county.
The technical errors could include transposed numbers in an address or birthdate or use of a variation in the voter’s name – Bill instead of William or a missing middle initial – or the voter’s name written in cursive rather than print.
Judge Alegnon L. Marbley ruled in June that the rules had been applied inconsistently and that the impact was that ballots from homeless, black and Latino voters were disqualified more than others.