The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left in place a lower court’s ruling that barred private citizens from suing Ohio for allegedly impeding their ability to vote by requiring ballot forms to be filled out perfectly. The justices declined to review the ruling that dismissed claims by Ohio’s Democratic Party and homeless rights groups that the state’s “perfect form” law, which invalidates ballots for even minor errors, deprived thousands of people of their right to vote, violating the federal Voting Rights Act. Such suits must be filed by the federal government, not private citizens, that court held. The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless in Cleveland, the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless and the state Democratic Party challenged a pair of 2014 laws.
Those laws required county election boards to reject absentee and provisional ballots unless voters had properly and completely filled out the forms that come with the ballots, including with their name, address, birth date and signature.
Ballots were rejected even if the voter’s identity could be determined despite the errors, the plaintiffs told the justices in legal papers. Some were thrown out for omitting zip codes, using cursive writing instead of print, or writing in the current date instead of a birth date, they said, disenfranchising thousands of voters in recent elections, especially minorities.
Full Article: U.S. top court will not review Ohio ‘perfect’ ballot law.