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Elections

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Appeal On Counting Provisional And Absentee Ballots, But Fight Will Go On

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Karen Kasler
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Early in-person voting is going on at county board of elections offices around Ohio.

The US Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from advocates for the homeless and the Ohio Democratic Party to ensure that more absentee and provisional ballots are counted. That settles the final lawsuit of the 2016 election over Ohio’s election laws – for now.

At issue was whether to count provisional and absentee ballots when there are minor discrepancies between those ballots and the forms the voters initially filled out, such as differences in names or addresses.  Secretary of State Jon Husted says only a few thousand ballots with those differences were tossed out in the last two years. But Subodh Chandra, who represented the groups filing the lawsuit, said there’s no way to compare the last two years with this presidential election. “You’re going to have much higher turnout of minority populations, and you’re going to have hundreds of thousands of voters that Husted wrongfully purged from the rolls, illegally purged from the rolls.”

Thousands of those voters can cast provisional ballots because of another lawsuit. Chandra says though the court denied the application for a stay for this election, the group plans to continue the fight.

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