On July 9, U.S. District Court Judge Algenon Marbley ruled that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted must continue to abide by a consent decree agreed to by his predecessor Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner. Husted is a Republican and Brunner is a Democrat. The consent decree provides that provisional ballots are valid when they are cast in the right building, but the wrong precinct, and if the provisional voter revealed the last four digits of the Social Security Number when voting provisionally, and if the error was made due to polling place official error. Apparently Ohio has many polling places in which multiple precincts vote in the same building. The case is Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless v Husted, 2:06-cv-896. It is not known if the Secretary of State will appeal.
This lawsuit is one of at least three lawsuits on the same subject, that have been in both federal court and state court, and have been all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and back. The other lawsuits are Hunter v Hamilton County Board of Elections, in federal court (which appears to be finally over), and State ex rel Painter v Brunner, from the Ohio Supreme Court earlier this year. Ohio election officials have probably spent millions of dollars in these cases. One wonders why the Ohio legislature doesn’t act to amend the law, to conform it to the federal consent order. Why would anyone of good intent want to disallow a provisional ballot that was cast in the wrong place in a building, but in the correct building, if the mistake is not the voter’s fault?
Sourcve: Ballot Access News » Blog Archive » U.S. District Court in Ohio Rules Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is Still Bound by Consent Decree on Provisional Ballots Agreed to by Previous Secretary of State.