Court Ruling May Impede Thousands of Ohio Voters
Ohio could become the Florida of the 2008 presidential vote, with the disagreements over provisional ballots coming to a head.
More than 200,000 registered Ohio voters may be blocked from casting regular ballots on Election Day because of a federal appeals court decision on Tuesday requiring the disclosure of lists of voters whose names did not match those on government databases, state election officials and voting experts said.
Experts say a federal order in an election-law suit could result in the casting of more provisional ballots. Jennifer Brunner, Ohio’s secretary of state, has fought the suit.
The court decision requires Jennifer Brunner, the Ohio secretary of state, to provide the names to local election officials by Friday. Once the local officials have the names, they may require these voters to cast provisional ballots rather than regular ones, and they may ask partisan poll workers to challenge these voters on Election Day. Both possibilities could cause widespread problems when the voters show up at the polls.
Concerns about those problems led the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to file an appeal of the decision to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Ms. Brunner on Wednesday night.