Husted seeks to rescind judicial order protecting voters from being disenfranchised
Today, Nina Turner, Democratic candidate for Ohio Secretary of State, issued the following statement in response to Secretary of State Jon Husted’s opposition to the extension of a 2010 consent decree that allows voters to use the last four digits of the Social Security Number as identification to cast a ballot.
The order, issued by Judge Algenon Marbley of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, blocked the implementation of an Ohio law that, in part, would have required voters to produce a form of identification, such as a utility bill, bank statement, or current driver’s license at the polls. Since all of these require financial means to be obtained, it effectively amounts to a modern-day poll tax.
The hearing on Friday followed a decision handed down earlier in the week, on Tuesday, July 9, in which Judge Marbley issued a permanent injunction requiring county boards of elections to count provisional ballots cast, due to poll worker error, at the right polling location but in the wrong precinct. This is a common problem at locations in which multiple precinct polling places have been consolidated.
“I am stunned, but not surprised, by Jon Husted’s continued, relentless drive to diminish ballot access in Ohio. I am hopeful that Judge Marbley maintains the consent decree to prevent the Secretary of State from enforcing an unjust law that will disenfranchise voters.
“I encourage Secretary Husted to work with the General Assembly to pass legislation—such as the Voter Protection Act—that maintains and expands the franchise. Ohio’s chief elections officer should not be working to cut legitimate voters out of our democracy’s most fundamental right.
“I applaud Judge Marbley’s decision to continue the counting of right church, wrong pew provisional ballots. Voters should not be penalized for someone else’s mistake.”
Friday’s hearing involved only oral arguments on the still pending matters in the case. A decision from Judge Marbley will be forthcoming.