OnTuesday September 11, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced that he would not appeal Judge Algenon Marbley's decision enforcing our settlement with the state of Ohio. For some reason the case is now called SEIU vs. Husted, but was previously NEOCH vs. Brunner and originally NEOCH vs. Blackwell, but whatever. Husted issued a directive clarifying that if a voter goes to the wrong precinct at the instruction of a poll worker their provisional ballot must count. The directive is a little confusing in that it mentions the "NEOCH exception" but defines that exception from a directive issues in January.
If the voter is not a resident of the county and precinct in which the provisional ballot was cast, and the voter provided only the last four digits of the voter's Social Security Number as identification, then the Board must apply the NEOCH exception described in Directive 2012-01; or....
We thank the Secretary of State for clarifying this decision to all 88 County Boards. We are sorry that the SOS wasted eight years debating this issue, when it is clear that a person who shows up to vote and is misdirected should have their legitimate ballot count. The State could have worked on training poll workers and having each community issue clear guidelines for provisional voting, but instead the State went to court to throw out a legitimate agreement made by the previous administration. Remember that the State legislature was a party to this agreement sending a babysitter to all of the negotiations with the former Secretary of State did not undermine their voting legislation. We do not need any further confusion with the voting hours and the politics injected into the voting procedures or battles over ballot issues that we have seen this year. This is another setback for the Secretary of State, and a victory for those in the state who want every legitimate vote to count. This is a victory for preservation of the most sacred tool for a citizen: the right to vote.
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