Ohio Republican Secretary of State sued over order to discard provisional ballots
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, whose decision to try to restrict early voting was thrown out first by an Ohio judge, then a federal appeals court and denied a hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court, will be back in court again this month after he issued a last-minute directive on provisional ballots that not only contradicts Ohio law but is also in violation of a recent court decision and the opposite of what Husted’s own lawyers said he would do.
As reported by Judd Legum at ThinkProgress, Husted ordered election officials not to fill out a section of the provisional ballot that verifies what form of identification that the voter produced and that, if it is incorrectly filled out, the ballot will automatically not be counted. However, under the law establishing the provisional balloting procedures, according to the lawsuit filed against Husted on Friday, it is election officials that are supposed to record the type of ID provided, not the voter — and that election officials are supposed to attempt to resolve any questions on the spot.
Husted has until Monday to respond to the suit, and the court has said that it plans to resolve the issue before provisional ballots are counted on November 17, 2012.
The Columbus Dispatch reported on Thursday that poll workers — not just observers — trained by the Voter Integrity Project, the Ohio affiliate of the tea party True The Vote project, will be in charge of providing provisional ballots and recording IDs. The Voter Integrity Project advertises that its training goes “beyond” what the Secretary Of State offers to poll workers, even though they technically are supposed to follow only the instructions of the Board of Elections.
[Image via ProgressOhio, Creative Commons licensed]