As Governor Kasich’s Legislative Supermajority Hangs In Balance With Two Recounts, Federal Judge Rules Against Husted Plot to Toss Out Provisional Ballots
COLUMBUS – Today, a Federal District Court Judge ruled – yet again – against Secretary of State Jon Husted and his eleventh-hour move that shifted responsibility from properly filling out portions of a provisional ballot from poll workers to voters. Judge Algenon Marbley wrote that Husted’s move “to flaunt state law in arbitrarily reassigning a poll worker’s statutory duty to a voter, with the result being disenfranchisement of the voter, is ‘fundamentally unfair and constitutionally impermissible.’”
The practical effect of this ruling is that some provisional ballots that may have been disqualified due to poll worker error will now be counted. This ruling could be especially important in two legislative races that have yet to be decided that will determine whether Governor John Kasich will have a supermajority in the Statehouse. If Democrats win one of these races, it will be the first time in Ohio’s history where the minority party held or gained seats following redistricting. A Democratic victory would also block Kasich from gaining the power to place issues such as “right to work” or “personhood” directly on the ballot through the legislature, circumventing the petition process.
In response to Husted’s latest Court loss, and vow to appeal, Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:
“Secretary of State Husted, Governor Kasich, and Republicans have not fared well this year in their effort at every turn to disenfranchise Ohio voters. After wasting nearly $100,000 in taxpayer dollars appealing his many court, Husted should ask himself if perhaps the people of Ohio might not be better served if he just let this loss go, and stopped trying to strip people of their right to have their vote counted.
“This court decision is a win for the people of Ohio, and it will assist our recount efforts in the two undecided legislative races to ensure that Kasich does not get a supermajority in the Statehouse that would allow him to place ‘right to work’ or ‘personhood’ on the ballot.”