Ohioans Take Voting Fight to SCOTUS With Election Imminent

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By Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson

Thousands “of indisputably eligible voters will be disenfranchised in the upcoming presidential election” if the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t step in, challengers to Ohio voting laws told the high court Oct. 26 ( Ne. Ohio Coal. for Homeless v. Husted , U.S., stay requested 10/26/16 ).

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are running neck-and-neck in the Buckeye State, according to an Oct. 17 Quinnipiac University Poll.

Challengers of Ohio’s 2014 laws tightening provisional and absentee voting asked the high court to put the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Sept. 13 decision on hold. That decision largely upheld the restrictions.

The new laws will make it harder for blacks to vote in the Nov. 8 election, the challengers said.

The laws, SB 205 and 216, require additional information for provisional and absentee ballots, rolled back the time voters had to cure defects and limited how election officials could assist voters in preparing their ballots.

The Sixth Circuit invalidated a portion of the law that required “technical precision” with the new information requirements.

In 2015, 98.2 percent of the 435,458 absentee ballots cast were counted and 84.62 percent of the 79,414 provisional ballots cast were counted, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.

A response to the stay application is due Monday, Oct. 31.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson in Washington at krobinson@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bna.com

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