Altshuler Berzon LLP
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June 22, 2012 -- A coalition of labor organizations, on behalf of the tens of thousands of Ohio voters they represent, today asked a federal court in Columbus, Ohio, to issue an injunction holding that the Ohio law that requires the rejection of thousands of provisional ballots every election for reasons attributable to poll worker error unconstitutionally denies Ohio voters their fundamental right to have their votes counted.
The lawsuit, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local One et. al v. Husted, contends that Ohio’s provisional ballot law violates the Equal Protection and Substantive Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and asks the court to require the State of Ohio and the 88 County Boards of Elections to count rather than reject provisional ballots cast by lawfully registered voters in the upcoming November 2012 general election.
Plaintiffs contend that the United States Constitution protects the fundamental right to vote from being denied by poll worker error. There is no legitimate reason that Ohio should be permitted to reject ballots cast by lawful voters for technicalities and because of poll worker mistakes.
“The Ohio system is fundamentally unfair to both hardworking poll workers – who are only trying to help people vote – and to the voters whose entire ballots are disqualified without notice after the election,” said United Steelworkers (USW) District 1 Director David McCall. “There is absolutely no valid reason an Ohio voter should be denied the right to vote for President of the United States simply because he or she was given the wrong precinct ballot. Ohio needs to fix this unfair system before the November election.”
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