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Hillary’s Lawyer Sues Ohio To Thwart Voter Suppression Tactics That Helped GOP Steal Ohio In 2004

May 12, 2015 in Blogs

By Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet

The 2016 voting wars have begun.

Hillary Clinton’s top campaign lawyer and voting rights activists have sued Ohio in federal court to overturn a half-dozen Republican-created barriers that could suppress “hundreds of thousands” of likely Democratic votes in 2016.

These include many of the tactics used by the GOP in 2004 that helped Republicans steal the election for George W. Bush, including narrowing voter registration, moving polling places, creating long lines, disqualifying eligible voters’ ballots, and limiting options to correct mistakes made by voters or by poll workers.

“The effects of these provisions and procedures will be felt most keenly among African Americans and Latino voters, causing them to have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice,” said the lawsuit by the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, which was filed against Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine.

Marc Elias, an election law specialist with Perkins Coie in Washington, D.C., is Clinton’s top campaign lawyer and one of the attorneys who sued. The lawsuit is the first litigation over the partisan voter suppression tactics of the 2016 presidential campaign, accusing Ohio Republicans of revoking procedures adopted after 2004 that opened up the process.

The suit seeks a federal court order to reverse a half-dozen actions taken by Ohio’s GOP-controlled Legislature and signed into law by Republican Gov. John. R. Kasich that could stymie, discourage or prevent the state’s urban Democratic voters from registering to vote and casting ballots that count. There is a deja-vu quality to these election law changes, because they were among the tactics used by Republicans in 2004 when George W. Bush beat John Kerry in that year’s final battleground state, re-electing Bush.

“Since the November 2012 elections, Ohio’s Republican-controlled General Assembly and Republican Governor have enacted several changes to the state’s voting laws that have the effect of burdening, abridging, and/or denying the voting rights of all of Ohio’s citizens,” the lawsuit said. “These changes, moreover, were designed to will disproportionately burden specific …read more


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