Back at the beginning of August, Federal Judge Alegenon Marbley decided in our favor to extend the agreement between NEOCH and the State of Ohio until 2016. This will standardize how provisional ballots are counted and will assist homeless people to vote in the upcoming Presidential election in person on Election Day. We posted the entire decision here. It is good reading because Judge Marbley has some wonderful language defending his decision.
"This Court hopes that Ohio's boards of election would continue to implement Ohio's voting laws with the same uniformity that they have since the entry of the Consent Decree. Asis from the Consent Decree, however, there is nothing to prevent boards of election from returning to those haphazard and, in some cases, illegal practices, which previously resulted in the invalidation of validly cast ballots from registered voters."
This goes through a nice history of the case leading up to the need for this agreement. It details the struggles by two previous Secretaries of State to implement this poorly written law from the lame duck session of 2005. The decision does a really nice job thinking through possible challenges to the ruling to extend the agreement through 2016. It was also nice to see that he had a nice grasp of all the facts of the case and how this decision played out on the streets of Ohio.
"A citizen's right to vote, however, cannot be at the mercy of the shifting legal interpretations of a single state officer, no matter how well intentioned he or she is. The Secretary of State changes frequently and while the current Secretary may continue to instruct boards of election to count the ballots of Social Security Number last 4 digit voters, there is no guarantee his successor will follow suit. The Court also observes that, on more than one occasion, Secretary Husted has attempted to make eleventh hour changes to Ohio's voting system."
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