05 September 2008

Update: Ohio Removes Vote Caging Possibility

Ohio directive issued Friday says 60-day notice can't be used to challenge voters.

David Rosenfeld | September 05, 2008

UPDATE: Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner took decisive action on Friday to clarify and amend the state's voter challenge law with particular aim at a contentious statewide mailer, which Miller-McCune.com reported Friday, the same day the notices went out and Brunner issued her directive. (The original Miller-McCune.com story, which appeared under the headline "Nearly 600,000 Subject to Possible Caging in Ohio," appears below.)

In the Sept. 5 directive to county boards of elections, Brunner said that no voter shall lose the right to vote based solely on the state's 60-day non-forwarded notice having returned to election officials as non-deliverable. Voter rights advocates worry that the returned notices would give Republicans the means to level mass challenges against thousands of Ohio voters similar to what occurred in 2004.

It remains unclear whether the non-deliverable notices could be used in part to challenge voters along with other indicators.

Brunner acknowledged returned mail does not provide a reasonable basis for proving someone moved. She also indicated her belief that returned notices often disproportionately impact the poor and minorities.


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