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Courts Allow Same-Day Vote Window to Go Forward in Ohio

By Mary Pat Flaherty
A weeklong window in which Ohio residents can to register to vote and cast their ballot in person on the same day can get underway Tuesday after courts today rejected challenges to the process.

The one-stop voting, which will end Oct. 6, had become a heated partisan issue in the battleground state, with Republicans disputing a legal interpretation by Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

Get out the vote efforts have been mobilized to take advantage of the window, in which the new voters use absentee ballots, and lock down votes from individuals who otherwise might not register or send in the absentee forms.

The absentee ballots won't be counted until Election Day, but campaigns treasure them as votes in the bank. Voting centers located at boards of elections offices and their satellite offices will handle the one-stop voting.

Numerous drives to register college students, minorities, residents of homeless shelters and other groups during the weeklong window have been announced, prompting Ohio Republicans to argue Brunner had issued orders that would benefit her party's candidate, a contention she strongly denied.

Three courts cleared the way for same-day voting to proceed. A 4-3 ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court in Brunner's favor, and decisions by two federal judges in Cleveland and Columbus.

Sharp language spilled into the official reactions to the court decisions.

Brunner said the 4-3 Supreme Court decision "should send a message to the forces of confusion and chaos that our top goal must be protecting Ohioans' voting rights."

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett expressed disappointment in the rulings and said "this is a win for Jennifer Brunner's partisan efforts to aid the Democrat turnout strategy," adding, "I continue to believe public opinion is with us."

A 2005 bill in the then-Republican state legislature cleared the way for the absentee votes, but the furor over the same-day voting stemmed from a directive that Brunner issued Sept. 11 to local elections boards.

Brunner noted that in Ohio, absentee ballots must be ready for distribution 35 days before the election but the voter registration deadline is 30 days before the election. That gap creates an "overlap" period for same-day registration and absentee voting, Brunner said.

In court, Republican voters argued Brunner's interpretation was illegal and that a person must be registered for 30 days in order to receive an absentee ballot. The GOP voters also had raised a concern that allowing absentee voting before registrations were verified opened the way for fraud.

Today, courts rejected those arguments.

In addition to the state Supreme Court decision, the rulings came from U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin of the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland. U.S. District Judge George Smith of the Southern District of Ohio in Columbus deferred to the state Supreme Court decision and did not issue a ruling of his own on the central issue.

However, one setback for Brunner came in an order from Smith that observers be permitted at polls during early voting, which Brunner had forbidden. Brunner's office said it will appeal that order.

Two separate court cases over absentee ballots still remain pending in Ohio.

Those involve absentee ballot requests filed by voters who responded to a mailer sent by the John McCain campaign. The mailer included a pre-printed form for seeking an absentee ballot and included a checkbox the voter could mark to verify he or she was a "qualified elector" before the form was returned to a local elections board.

Brunner said that if the box was not checked, the request would be rejected and voters should be sent another application by elections officials.

In the pending challenges, Republicans say the applications should be accepted because there is no law stating a box must be checked to make an application valid and that cards also contain a signature line beneath the "elector" language that makes them valid.

Ohio has been a hard fought state in presidential contests and the court cases Tuesday recall disputes in 2004 over voting procedures that drew national attention when Democrats challenged rulings by then Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a Republican.

By Web Politics Editor  |  September 29, 2008; 8:48 PM ET
Categories:  Battlegrounds  
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Comments

OHIO, Tell Obama NO again!

Posted by: Texan2007 | September 30, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm registered Independent, therefore I only want eligible voters to vote AND no judges to steal elections.

Posted by: JakeD | September 30, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

DrJack0400 sez:
"Here is a news flash, Republicans want people to vote too. We also want the law to be followed and for the people who are responsible for elections to act ethically. We want judges to enforce the law, not make it."

2000. Florida. Katherine Harris. James Baker III. Scalia, Rehnquist, Thomas, O'Connor.

Therefore, you are deluded. Please shut up.

2004. Ohio. Blackwell.

Again, you are deluded. Please shut up.

Oh, wait...you're a Republican...being deluded just comes with the ideology.

Thanks for eight years of unmitigated disaster on every front. We'll be holding you and yours responsible again this election cycle.

Posted by: CalDamage | September 30, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

DrJack0400 sez:
"Here is a news flash, Republicans want people to vote too. We also want the law to be followed and for the people who are responsible for elections to act ethically. We want judges to enforce the law, not make it."

2000. Florida. Katherine Harris. James Baker III. Scalia, Rehnquist, Thomas, O'Connor.

Therefore, you are deluded. Please shut up.

2004. Ohio. Blackwell.

Again, you are deluded. Please shut up.

Oh, wait...you're a Republican...being deluded just comes with the ideology.

Thanks for eight years of unmitigated disaster on every front. We'll be holding you and yours responsible again this election cycle.

Posted by: CalDamage | September 30, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I am waiting until obama starts with his
hunting stories and other conservative
pleads for the white hilly billy vote.
squirrel stew ma?
thanks ya, bobama...

Posted by: USA3 | September 30, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Oh this is just great. Imposters can sign up using fake addresses and fake information and then there is no time to check out their credentials because they have already voted. The DNC and that Obama will do and say ANYTHING to get the vote- lie, cheat and steal. What idiots are allowing this ??? It has been proven before that it causes massive fraud.....but then again thats how Obama works- deceive the public once again !!! Evil wins out in Ohio !!! Ohio WAKE UP !!!

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | September 30, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Amazing, to say the least, that while Republicans attempt to put in place rules that allow the least amount of voters to vote, the Democrats do just the opposite, i.e., try to put in place rules that allow the greatest numbers of voters to vote. Why are Republicans so afraid of the concept that the more people we have voting, the better it is for our Republican (has nothing to do with the Republican Party) form of government created by the U.S. Constitution? The only answer I can think of is that the Republicans realize most people are drawn to the principles that underlie the Democratic Party. As for the principles that underlie the Republican Party, i.e., greed, selfishness, dishonesty, etc., I believe most people are inherently good and reject these principles as a basis for governing one's life. Obama/Biden 2008!!!

Posted by: Caliguy55 | September 30, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

But I thought last week that early voting for McCain-Palin was some kind of crime against humanity? Or, does only apply to early votes for the GOP.

Posted by: JakeD | September 30, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Well, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett may be right that this will aid the "Democrat" turnout strategy -- because in general the more American citizens vote, the more Democrats get elected.

Posted by: bearpaw01 | September 30, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

We need leadership...and stupidity... side by side... its time to broadcast an attack ad and get McCaint and Plain to the rescue....

...Its time for SuperLiar...and his sidekick "peeeuuu" to swoop in and make it worse........

Posted by: AlexP1 | September 30, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

We need leadership...and stupidity... side by side... its time to broadcast an attack ad and get McCaint and Plain to the rescue....

...Its time for SuperLiar...and his sidekick "peeeuuu" to swoop in and make it worse........

Posted by: AlexP1 | September 30, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

sallieismydog,

You go, you hit the nail right on the head. Mean, selfish, despicable people. Afraid they might have to pay an extra dime out of their million dollar accounts. God will judge them one day, and they will not be happy with the results. Their greed and money won't help them a bit then.

Posted by: McSameChalin | September 30, 2008 3:52 AM | Report abuse

I love how Republicans declare 'voter fraud' without any evidence. In the recent Supreme Court case where voter ID's were challeneged the Court agreed that there was no evidence of voter fraud. They OK'd ID's on different legal grounds but they put to rest the scare tactic Republicans have used for years to drive down voting.

Compared to the documented stealing of votes in Ohio by Republicans....we might get to see who Ohioans really vote for this time.

Posted by: thebobbob | September 30, 2008 1:51 AM | Report abuse

I love how Republicans declare 'voter fraud' without any evidence. In the recent Supreme Court case where voter ID's were challeneged the Court agreed that there was no evidence of voter fraud. They OK'd ID's on different legal grounds but they put to rest the scare tactic Republicans have used for years to drive down voting.

Compared to the documented stealing of votes in Ohio by Republicans....we might get to see who Ohioans really vote for this time.

Posted by: thebobbob | September 30, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Republicans know that the more people who vote, the more likely they are to lose. That's why they try to throw wrenches into the voting system. Right-wing religious freaks are a minority in this country, fortunately, but a large number of them at least show up to vote Republican. The majority of people in this country would vote against Republicans if the majority voted in larger numbers which, in the past, they have not. However, now people ARE registering in record numbers and I do not think it's because they believe John McSame and his bimbette are the great saviors of the free world. Quite the contrary!

Posted by: jeffersontao | September 30, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

They tried to ban the original. Over 800,000 hits in just a few days.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NU6fuFrdCJY

Posted by: thejaner | September 30, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

What's next is the Obama camp going to vote the cemetery list like JFK did. Voter fraud is a huge issue and any rational person can see that this will only add to the problem. Voting should happen on election day, unless you can prove that you need to be out of the area. The Iraqis stood in line for hours, under fear of death from insurgents, and had 90% turnout. We have about 50%, even with all these hand-holding operations to get new people to vote. If you aren't smart enough to register in time where you live and then show up on election day, then we don't need your lazy vote!


Help us show Obama the door, join us at DefeatObama.org!

Posted by: DefeatObama | September 30, 2008 12:03 AM | Report abuse

What's next is the Obama camp going to vote the cemetary list like JFK did. Voter fraud is a huge issue and any rational person can see that this will only add to the problem. Voting should happen on election day, unless you can prove that you need to be out of the area. The Iraqis stood in line for hours, under fear of death from insurgents, and had 90% turnout. We have about 50%, even with all these hand-holding operations to get new people to vote. If you aren't smart enough to register in time where you live and then show up on election day, then we don't need your lazy vote!


Help us show Obama the door, join us at DefeatObama.org!

Posted by: DefeatObama | September 30, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

The Federal Government needs to limit this OHIO(As in: THE EXACT SAME OHIO-That ALWAYS has Electoral Problems), to their own State and Local Elections-Which they can then suffer from, NOT, National Contests! :-(

Posted by: SAINT---The | September 29, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Its so sickening that Republicans want to make it harder to vote. Voting should be a simple process, and should be available to everyone who is qualified. Hopefully Republicans will become a extinct creature in this country someday. They are the most pathetic creatures god ever created.

Posted by: McSameChalin | September 29, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

"Chris Dodd. - Nature's way of telling Americans We Have Too Much In Our Retirement Accounts."--------------

Are you sure you don't mean John McCain? He makes nearly $80,000/yr in disability and Social Security.

Tax Free.

Helps pay the heat in those 7 houses.

Posted by: usliberal | September 29, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin was in Ohio today. She walks into a bar with a parrot on her shoulder and the bartender says "Hey thats really cool...where did you get it"? and the parrot says "Thanks...Alaska..
give me a scotch and keep it neat...no ice okay"

Posted by: garygelormino1 | September 29, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

GOP'ers all thought they would get raptured before the poop hit the fan...idiots all thought wrong. Do a self survey and when out in public...say in line waiting for gas...the grocery store check out....the bank waiting for a teller...anywhere public America main street USA...and speak like a neocon shill repuke. See if the crowd dont get ugly American on ya.
Go ahead neocon repuke...spew that crap in public I dare you. Americans are pissed and your key board Rambo crap wont fly in public. Still got that BUSH CHENEY bumper sticker????..I bet not! The most thankless and hated job in America today has got to be protecting GWB by the secret service. When Bush was downtown in Cleveland and I heckeled him...the SS actually smiled and I could tell they were with me. I really tried to go over the line and get arrested...but they wouldnt...I gave Bush the Bronx salute as he left the building and felt as if I hung Benito Mussolini....felt great!!!!

Posted by: garygelormino1 | September 29, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

drjack----why do you scream about Obama and yet support MORE tax from mccain? He and the old men have bankrupted this country with their stupid war. WHY AREN'T YOU SCREAMING ABOUT THIS TAX ON YOUR FAMILY BY THE WARMONGERS???

From the Citizens for Tax Justice web site:
".....For a typical family with a taxable income of $60,000, and a typical tax bill of $8626, that works out to an Iraq War tax bill of about $2150.

For a family making $100,000 in taxable income, with a typical tax bill of $18,614, that is a war tax of about $4650.

Even a student making a taxable income of say $7000, and paying a tax of around $700 to Uncle Sam is paying around $175 to support the war in Iraq......""

thanks, bush and mccain for the expensive and pointless war. mccain will continue this. so repubs, be ready to pay your taxes for a completely pointless war---happy about that, are you?

Posted by: sallieismydog | September 29, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Typical GOP sewage spill on the blog. You just hate everyone, don't you? Guess what? if you want to strip a legal US citizen of his or her right to vote, you are truly a despot and UNAMERICAN. We ALL have the right to vote, not just you self satisfied mean little people who hide behind your poisonous keyboards and bash everyone who isn't "like you"---what are you so afraid of ? That ALL AMERICANS WILL GET TO SPEAK, NOT JUST THE MEAN GREEDY BIGOTED SELFISH GOP?

Hope we can all watch when you get to the Pearly Gates and try to explain why you hated everyone, especially the poor. Hope you can make sense out of that one when you have to illustrate all the "good" you have done in your life.

People who want to steal the right to vote from other Americans are disgusting. YOU don't get to tell someone if they qualify or not....it voting was based on intelligence, you would be left standing on the side of the road.

Americans are TIRED of being beaten up with fear and hate. Bye bye, GOP.

Posted by: sallieismydog | September 29, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Bush and the neocon GOP have made America hated around the world and even among our friends! Weakest dollar in American history. Worst 8 year market performance since the depression.
Worst national debt in history of America. Worst budget deficit in American history. Worst trade deficit in American history.
Expanded gov more then all admins in history of America. Divided Americans more then since Abe Lincoln. Led America into a war in Iraq, lasting longer then world war 2 and still no victory.
I challenge any rep neocon to go into any VFW...AMVETS...LEGION...MOOSE...or anyplace American vets hang out and say what they say on the net.
If you survive from being beat bloody with pool cues and long neck Bud bottles ....I will drive you to a hospital personally.
PS; This is my real name and I live in Seven Hills Ohio 44131...Iam in the book!

Posted by: garygelormino1 | September 29, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Drjack: You are truely a Bush bot
Your taxes are going up you idiot.
Bush ran a $9 trillion dollar debt. Theres approx 300 million Americans. So the math is simple.
1000 millions in every single billion and 1000 billions in every single trillion. so thats 430,000.00 dollars for every man women and child....Congrats its a baby girl...have a cigar...Bush made her with $30,000.00 in debt the day she was born...Bush expanded gov more then the past ten admin put together you complete and utter moron. You think complaining to Washinton Post is gonna help? They hate Bush too! Subscriptions arent delivered too abandoned homes idiot. Advertisers dont have money when they are BANKRUPT you neocon shill....go schlep crazy someplace else...Americans arent buying it anymore fool!

Posted by: garygelormino1 | September 29, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

CHICAGO CELEBRATES THIS DECISION!
LOAD THE BUSSES WITH THE WINOS THEM GIVE THEM THEIR BOTTLE OF WINE TO VOTE (TWO BUCK CHUCK) HOORAY!

Posted by: lawsuitsplus | September 29, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Bush and the neocon GOP have made America hated around the world and even among our friends! Weakest dollar in American history. Worst 8 year market performance since the depression.
Worst national debt in history of America. Worst budget deficit in American history. Worst trade deficit in American history.
Expanded gov more then all admins in history of America. Divided Americans more then since Abe Lincoln. Led America into a war in Iraq, lasting longer then world war 2 and still no victory.
I challenge any rep neocon to go into any VFW...AMVETS...LEGION...MOOSE...or anyplace American vets hang out and say what they say on the net.
If you survive from being beat bloody with pool cues and long neck Bud bottles ....I will drive you to a hospital personally.
PS; This is my real name and I live in Seven Hills Ohio 44131...Iam in the book!

Posted by: garygelormino1 | September 29, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Here is a news flash, Republicans want people to vote too. We also want the law to be followed and for the people who are responsible for elections to act ethically. We want judges to enforce the law, not make it.

On the issues, Republicans want someone that will not raise our taxes, spend less, and reduce the size of government.

One last thing, if Obama should be elected, we will all be able to reflect on the choice we made while standing in the soup lines of the great depression of this century.

Posted by: Drjack0040 | September 29, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

CHICAGO CELEBRATES THIS DECISION!
LOAD THE BUSSES WITH THE WINOS THEM GIVE THEM THEIR BOTTLE OF WINE TO VOTE (TWO BUCK CHUCK) HOORAY!

Posted by: lawsuitsplus | September 29, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

The GOP'ers are reeking of fear!
They, just 3 weeks ago, were all collectively waving pom poms and screaming how great the Bush economy was....now they blame the mess on Dems...hahahaha...ya can't make this stuff up!
Wasn't Bush a cheerleader in school? Oh wait!!!!...he was...
http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/images/blbushcheerleader.htm

Posted by: garygelormino1 | September 29, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the work of ACORN! They are Community Organizers! They think it is OK for DEAD PEOPLE TO VOTE as long as they vote for their lawyer, Barack Hussien Obama.

Posted by: Texan2007 | September 29, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Chris Dodd. - Nature's way of telling Americans We Have Too Much In Our Retirement Accounts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheMouthPeace


I think we should award Senator Dodd a permanent place in our federal retirement system located at Leavenworth, Kansas.
I hope everyone in Connecticut is enjoying looking at their 401Ks this afternoon.

Posted by: gdodd414 | September 29, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

congratulations, Ohio!!

All legal Americans should be able to register and to vote. These jerk GOPers who would deny the vote should feel our wrath----denying any citizen of ANY SOCIAL MEANS OR STATUS a vote is simply UNAMERICAN.

Not everyone has enjoyed the Wall Street privilege of the Republicans. But everyone who lives in this country as a legal citizen IS ENTITLED TO VOTE, and no self-important pompous "observer" should be able to deny that right.

If they are allowed to suppress voting, that is called a dictatorship.....is that what the GOP intends?

Posted by: sallieismydog | September 29, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

How are these voter disenfranchised? Oh, I am sorry, they have the common good at heart! They also really understand the economy!

I believe they have a right to vote, but don't tell me they are disenfranchised!
http://www.boppoll.com

McCain/Palin '08

Posted by: acarponzo | September 29, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

This unusual voting procedure may be an unintended discovery of how to count the votes of students, shelter residents, and other typically disenfranchised voters that so often fall through the cracks. Perhaps this model could be used nation-wide. Bravo for Ohio, and Bravo for America!

Posted by: vitaletti101 | September 29, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

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