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(Republican dominated OH)Supreme Court overturns Brunner

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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-02-08 04:55 PM
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(Republican dominated OH)Supreme Court overturns Brunner
Supreme Court overturns Brunner
Posted by joncraig at 10/2/2008 4:18 PM EDT
A unanimous Ohio Supreme Court today overruled Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, saying county Boards of Elections must accept absentee-ballot applications with boxes that weren't checked declaring the voter was a "qualified elector."

Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign mailed more than 1 million of the applications. More than 1,500 of the applications were rejected in Hamilton County, prompting a lawsuit by two local voters.

I am pleased the Ohio Supreme Court has clarified the absentee ballot request laws of Ohio,'' Brunner said in a statement. "When several boards of elections requested my interpretation of the law, I advised them as to what the law appeared to require. Todays ruling allows the Secretary of State and boards of elections the legal authority to rule on the side of voters rather than the strict, complex application rules passed by the legislature. I will gladly follow the high courts decision.

Charles M. Miller, a Cincinnati attorney who filed the lawsuit, said, "This decision will ensure that thousands of voters who properly applied for absentee ballots will receive them."

"I'm glad that other voters like me will get their absentee ballots,'' said Betty Smith, 77, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. "This is an important election and I want my vote to count."

Jon Seaton, regional campaign manager for McCain, called the decision a win for tens of thousands of voters "whose ballots were threatened as a result of Secretary of State Brunner's decision to add confusion to what should be an honest and open election process. These qualified voters are now assured that they will not be disenfranchised by Secretary Brunner's partisan attempt to keep John McCain's supporters from casting absentee ballots



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VeraAgnes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-02-08 05:02 PM
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1. Republicans in Ohio have stolen enough.
I just watched the video/DVD "Stealing America: Vote by Vote. My sister sent it to me.

Enough crime by Ohio Republicans to make Tony Soprano bite his lip.

Recommended for every Democrat!
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jimshoes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-02-08 05:21 PM
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2. I'm guessing this is a good thing.
If Brunner is happy about it, I'm a bit confused though.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-03-08 05:06 AM
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3. pretty much a wash
Brunner enforced the law as she read it; the Supreme Court read it differently.

I don't think many people here think that anyone should be denied an absentee ballot solely for failing to check a box on a form -- although it may be tempting to think otherwise when the voters in question are probably McCain supporters. However, Brunner's interpretation of the law seems reasonable.
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-03-08 06:22 AM
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4. This is exactly right-she didn't want to imply the law but wanted direction from
the courts. The GOP however, have attempted to spin this into Brunner is just as partisan as Blackwell :eyes: , and is disenfranchising Republicans. Voter registration closes October 6th in Ohio, so NO voter was disenfranchised over this MCCAIN CAMPAIGN MISTAKE.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-03-08 12:37 PM
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5. that's not quite how I read the briefs
Moritz page here. (The "merit brief" is more readable than the original "reply.")

I wouldn't say that Brunner appeared to want direction from the courts; she (or the Attorney General on her behalf) seemed pretty adamant that it was within her purview to interpret the statutory requirement.

I don't think the voter registration deadline is even 'in play' here. If voters missed the deadline for requesting absentee ballots (i.e., submitting a corrected application), they probably wouldn't receive one; they would still be registered to vote, although in some cases it might be difficult or perhaps impossible for them to vote on election day.

I like the way the ruling turned out (I see that the Brennan Center filed an amicus brief on that side as well), although I see both sides. The law is sufficiently ambiguous that both sides could feel ill-used, but Brunner seems to be handling the aftermath just right.
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-03-08 07:20 PM
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6. As long as the Repubs are prevented from challenging voters based on not checking that extra thing
(which I'm convinced was the purpose here), I'm good.
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