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Is Ohio the Florida of the 2012 Election?

Is Ohio the Florida of the 2012 Election?

The Supreme Court has so far refused to intervene in the voting rights mess unfolding in Ohio, instead leaving in place a 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that protects early voting rights in the state, but will they be able to much longer?

Just a day before the presidential election and the state’s conservative Secretary of State appears willing to flout the law. On Thursday, voting rights activists filed an emergency motion with the court requesting an order to guarantee that election officials, in a word, do what they promised and not throw out provisional ballots based on being incomplete or improperly completed.

The issue of how the state will count provisional ballots is part of the ongoing legal challenges to changes in the state’s election laws. A trial court and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has already ruled provisional ballots should be considered broadly. But this motion was necessary because, despite agreeing to a broad standard for counting provisional ballots via consent decree and two court orders to enforce those terms, the Secretary of State’s office has instead taken the position that throwing out ballots election officials deem faulty IS complying with the scope of those orders.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

“The bottom line is that (Secretary of State Jon Husted) designed a form that violates Ohio law by improperly shifting to voters the poll workers’ information-recording responsibilities regarding ID to voters, and then he wants to trash votes where there is a problem with the form on the section he misassigned to voters,” said Cleveland attorney Subodh Chandra, who filed the motion.

Husted spokesman Matt McClellan said the Friday directive actually was designed to concur with the Oct. 26 order of U.S. District Court Judge Algenon Marbley in a legal dispute over provisional ballots. “We wanted to make sure we complied with those directions,” McClellan said. Voters will complete the same form they did in the March primary and August special elections. We’re not doing anything new,” he said. “Voters have to provide ID when they vote provisionally.”

What does this all mean? To begin with, the legal challenges to the 2012 presidential election are already on and we could see appellate court rulings on how Ohio counts its ballots well into election day and beyond. And that means it is all but certain that Ohio will be counting ballots well past Tuesday night.

Let’s hope I’m wrong.

Related Stories:

Supreme Court Protects Early Voting in Ohio

Tea Party Voting Purges Might Be Criminal

Think Voter ID Is Bad? Meet the Poll Watchers

 

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Photo from Tobyotter via flickr.

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49 comments

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7:03AM PST on Nov 15, 2012

It's sickening how SCOTUS jumped in and stopped the vote to insure a Republican victory in Florida in 2000, and now will NOT act to count the votes for the very same reason. Arizona is also dragging it's feet counting provisional ballots due to voter supression. This SCOTUS is extremely partisan and is not only a National joke but one that resonates World Wide.
The American people WILL fix this. Write your Rep. Tweet and motivate your friends and family to get involved. We do this or lose our Democracy.

11:47AM PST on Nov 7, 2012

Your articles on civil law are very helpful! All these complicated issues become very clear and simple. I think, you know lots of good lawyers. If my suggestion is true and you can recommend good legal professionals, you can add their contacts to my Attorney Directory. I create it to provide people a place where they can meet good attorneys. For example, this is a category with Florida civil attorneys http://attorney-online.info/dir/civil/florida/33 and i think that some of your friends definitely should be there.

8:08PM PST on Nov 6, 2012

As Jon Stewart said- America votes; Ohio decides. Sad

7:15PM PST on Nov 6, 2012

People still in line here in Florida so I think it's gonna be a long night!! As long as you were in line before the polls closed, you could vote. Let's hope it's NOT a repeat of past elections. All I can say is Go OBAMA, Go!!

6:07PM PST on Nov 6, 2012

Thank you.

6:06PM PST on Nov 6, 2012

Thank you.

4:59PM PST on Nov 6, 2012

Ya now, Jacob, I know ypou;re a troll and your "job" is to yank our chains, but pour Bullspit gets WAY annoying. Go away, and yank someone else's chain for awhile. What you say doesn't even make sense.

4:30PM PST on Nov 6, 2012

Jacob R., you're just always popping up with your insanity everytime I turn around. Do you just love being wrong and being told so? Marianne and Guillermo, great posts from both of you guys.

3:46PM PST on Nov 6, 2012

Voting in the US has become a cruel joke. As a progressive commentator said recently, voter suppression has always been a part of US history. It took many years for non-whites to get the vote. It took many years for women to get the vote.

But despite these and other advances, democracy in this country is currently being threatened as never before. The gap between the rich and the poor has never been wider. Trans-national corporations have never been as powerful and influential as they are now.

How much longer our democracy or any democracy in the world for that matter can withstand the relentless corporate/political (fascist) onslaught against it is anybody's guess. Modern technology has failed to bring us all together as some predicted. Instead, if anything it is allowing dictatorships and potential dictatorships to solidify their power against the masses. .

11:01AM PST on Nov 6, 2012

Jacob R., I was born and raised in Florida and MANY of the votes that SHOULD be counted won't be and there will be NO way to stop them. It makes me sick to see people like you willing to have an election rigged so your Corporations and Corporate HOs can win. This is really sad considering that YOU will suffer with the rest of us UNLESS you are worth millions or billions.

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