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Court Cases Loom Over Ohio Elections

September 17, 2012
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Several lawsuits working their ways through the courts have potential impacts for voting this year in swing-state Ohio.

Challenges about allegedly ineligible voters, the ability to vote in person on the final three days before the Nov. 6 election, and about how provisional ballots are counted are among the lawsuits in federal courts in Ohio.

Some critics have said that judges will have as much say as voters on the 2012 results.

With Ohio expected to be crucial for Republican Mitt Romney's hopes of unseating President Barack Obama, the cases will be watched closely in the weeks ahead for any movement or rulings.

Two cases are before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

The Obama campaign and Democrats won a lower federal court ruling for restoration of in-person voting on the final three days - Saturday, Sunday and Monday - before the election. And unions and a coalition for the homeless also won a U.S. district court ruling to allow counting of provisional ballots that were cast at the right polling place but the wrong precinct, and without a voter signature.

In a case stemming from the early voting debate, Democrats Dennis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie Jr. have sued in a federal court to get their jobs back on the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, fired them for defying his decision against the final-weekend early-voting hours.

Husted has also been sued in federal court by Judicial Watch and the True the Vote organization, alleging that he has failed to remove many ineligible voters from Ohio's voter registration list.

Democrats sued Husted to restore a referendum on House Bill 194, a measure on early voting hours.

There are also lawsuits over Ohio's current redistricting law and a statewide issue on how congressional and legislative districts are drawn in Ohio, among other litigation that would affect voters.

 
 
 

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