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Ohio Court Rules for McCain-Palin on Absentee Ballots

Updated 5:35 p.m.
By Mary Pat Flaherty
The Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that disputed absentee ballot applications mailed to state voters by the McCain-Palin campaign should be accepted by local elections officials and directed State Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to reverse her position that boards reject them.

The decision was one of several issued this week by state and federal courts over procedures that affect Ohio's early voting process.

The case was brought by two Republican voters against Brunner, a Democrat, and had become the focus of partisan wrangling in the heavily contested state.

The applications at issue in Thursday's case contain a checkbox that appears on the forms -- in addition to a signature line -- for voters to state that they are qualified to vote and request an absentee ballot. The McCain camp mailed 1 million of the forms in Ohio.

In September, Brunner advised county elections boards to reject the forms if the box was not checked, even if the application had been signed, saying that without a checkmark a voter's intent was unclear. More than 3,500 ballots already had been rejected for that reason by boards, the court determined.

The court rejected Brunner's interpretation and also said that an unchecked box did not provide evidence of voter fraud. Rejecting ballots solely over the lack of a checkmark, the court wrote, served "no vital purpose or public interest."

The court was obliged to avoid "unduly technical interpretations" of election law, its order stated.

Brunner said she was "pleased" the court clarified what she called a set of "complex applications ruled" passed by the state legislature. "I will gladly follow the high court's decision," she said.

The McCain campaign cheered the ruling. "Today's decision is a win for the tens of thousands of voters whose absentee 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," said Jon Seaton, McCain-Palin Regional Campaign Manager for Seaton, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

On Monday, the day before early voting opened in Ohio, Brunner's office won several court cases in which Republican voters and the state GOP had asked state and federal courts to stop the process because it permitted voters to register and cast absentee ballots at the same time.

The one-stop voting stemmed from a directive Brunner issued based on a unique overlap between when absentee ballots became available in the state and the close of voter registration a week later.

Ohio this year allows voters to cast absentee ballots without providing an excuse as to why they will not be present on Election Day -- and that change has led to a steady get-out-the-vote effort during the one-stop overlap period, which ends Oct. 6.

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 2, 2008; 5:03 PM ET
Categories:  Battlegrounds  
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Comments

Campaigns all have closely associated attorneys who are perfectly able to read relevant state and federal law, thus, able to produce a clear -- or ambiguous -- form.

There is a similar case brewing in North Dakota, again involving the GOP.
http://snipurl.com/42nbv

My guess is forms have been constructed by design to open the door for post-election litigation, rather effective in 2000 I'd say.

Posted by: jburik | October 4, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

williamboling: I would never suggest liberals lack the ability to think. Unlike you, I won't attempt to paint all liberals or conservatives in their same respective corners. I know some liberals who are decent, patriotic Americans. I don't know many though.

As for your intelligence, level of education and income, don't flatter yourself. You have just displayed some if your lack of education and comprehension.

If you truly believe the garbage you just spewed out, then I have to believe you are relegated to the driveling class of liberals that subsist on talking points and and believe everything the left wing media puts out.

You demonstrate that you have absolutely no understanding of the truth and wouldn't know it if it hit you in the butt. Everything you just said about conservatives in general is a flat out lie. Do us all a favor and vote on Wednesday

Your champ Obama, one of the latest examples of extreme sleaze. His associations with William Ayers, Louis Farrikan, and Tony Rezko stink to high Heaven

The three main characters involved in this financial calamity, Raimes, Howard and Johnson are now top advisers to Obama. Raimes was forced to retire due to irregularities. Tim Howard was cooking the books. Jim Johnson was hiding compensations, taking out illegal loans from Country Wide and got his Golden Parachute for $28 Mil. They should know how to fix the mess...they created it.

You can Wiki , Encyclopedia these characters, along with Michelle Obama's Valerie Jarrette, another Syrian (Daily Times) The Washington Times has some archives on Obama's three visits to Pakistan,1981 and twice in 2008. Where did he get all of the money to attend Harvard and fly everywhere? You don't want to know.

This slime ball has too many sleazy connections. During his bid for the Senate, his two opponents mysteriously bowed out of the race...Chicago politics? There's a story there too.

Posted by: swampcat | October 4, 2008 4:26 AM | Report abuse

Why isn't the media talking about the fact that the MCCain campaign is sending absentee ballots in Florida, Ohio, Michigan, wisconsin, oregon, and other states. THe absentee ballots sent are sent to REGISTERED DEMOCRATS who did not request absentee ballots. Many have found that the ballots have the wrong return address, or other fraudulent information. So these votes will not count, or worse. WHY IS THE MEDIA NOT FOLLOWING THIS STORY?????

Posted by: rpearl | October 3, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Wjandy,
What a parody of a persuasive statement!

You contemptuously dismiss the thinking ability of liberals ... you know, the ones that have the significantly higher education, income and intelligence than conservatives? ... by saying they're not taught "how to think."

Then to prove how able to think your camp is, you provide a wholly unsupported false dichotomy. Choice between freedom and socialism. Please.

The libertarians always think the Republicans are going to shrink government, and they always increase it instead. The libertarians always think the Republicans are in favor of freedom, but they only support freedom of the rich from taxes, not freedom of individuals from government intrusion. You guys are just like Charlie Brown, and the Republicans are just like Lucy, and freedom is just like the football. You never get it.

Posted by: williamboling | October 3, 2008 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Social Healthcare is wanted by the majority of US voters.

Obviously the existing systems do nbot work for regular Americans.

Since Republicans are not regular Americans and do not live were we live and deal with our everyday issues, they continiue to be out of touch and immature.

For the poor white trash that votes Republican against their best interest because they are racist or hear the magical seduction/illusion: "tax cut"

Posted by: King3 | October 3, 2008 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Voter fraud is a just another Boogeyman GOP distraction. It is rare and minor.

Meanwhile, in real new, John McCain gives up Michigan. Obamacontinues to rise in polls.

Republicans continue their lies, ad nauseum

Posted by: King3 | October 3, 2008 6:54 AM | Report abuse

@wjandy Not dark enough under your rock to sleep?

You got trounced in the debate

You are getting destroyed in the polls.

Yet, all you can do is resort to ignorance and spout empty talking points? Pathetic

I'm so glad you are on the defensive, and it funny that you "know" so little about liberals, or any subject ofr that matter.

Posted by: King3 | October 3, 2008 6:52 AM | Report abuse

The choice in this election is simple. Socialism or freedom. Your call.
Remember too that liberals are taught what to think, not how to think.

Posted by: wjandy | October 3, 2008 6:34 AM | Report abuse

You conveniently left out some key information regarding the military absentee ballots. For one thing, they were mailed late and it would have been impossible to return on time. As for the signatures, they were verified. In the case of the Democrat ballots, these were domestic ballots and the onus was on the applicant to obtain the ballots in a timely manner. The unsigned ones could not be verified. Probably due to the fact that many were mass prepared and in such volumes that they couldn't sign all of them. Others probably were illegals and dead folks. It's too bad some of the Democrats didn't get some prison time for that.

You are repeating Democrat garbage and apparently don't have any first hand knowledge of what went on in Florida back in 2000.

Posted by: swampcat | October 3, 2008 4:17 AM | Report abuse

Barack Hussein Obama - change and hope through voter fraud.

Posted by: djred19678 | October 3, 2008 4:09 AM | Report abuse

This is rich. The Dems are still distorting the Fl. 2000 fraud perpetrated on the American people by the crooked Elections officials, the Gore campaign along with the Chicago voter Fraud king, Daily, and Atty. David Boise..who by the way, got into some legal difficulties with the court because of his shenanigans. You can repeat the liberal talking points all you want to, but I was there and paid close attention to the whole debacle. It's the Dems. that perpetrate voter fraud. Signing up illegals, under age kids, and getting the dead to vote again. The Daily motto is to vote early and vote often. Biden distorted (lied about) six issues during the debate , but the liberal media won't hold him accountable. The other ones were distortions. As usual,the Dems. will lie for convenience. BTW. Obama did attend some Islamic classes. It's a fact. He attended a Catholic school later and was registered as a Muslim. Now, I don't know if he is Muslim or not, but to say he didn't attend Islamic schools is a flat out lie. You can verify these issues with Snopes.

Looks like he needs to change his home state first. The last six months body count for Chicago is higher than Iraq's. The are 44 Billion in debt and have the nations highest taxes at 10.25%. They also have the nations only head tax. This is Obama's and Durbin's home state. They can't blame it on Republicans either..There aren't any. Perhaps the U.S. should pull out of Chicago.

Posted by: swampcat | October 3, 2008 4:04 AM | Report abuse

Oops, that was supposed to say "2000 vote"

Posted by: bdouglaswalker | October 3, 2008 3:17 AM | Report abuse

floridacounts: I assume you never read any analysis of the 200 vote fiasco in Florida. Yes, Democrats sued to disqualify votes from those in the military that had either not been signed, as required by Florida law, or had been mailed after the deadline, per Florida law. But the REPUBLICANS fought to disqualify only the late or unsigned Gore votes, while arguing that unsigned or late Bush votes had to be counted because they were from members of the service. Bottom line: The Democrats went according to Florida law; the Republicans argued both sides, depending on who the votes were cast for. Please have ALL the facts. It was reported in many papers, but I suspect Fox didn't think it was worth airing, so I can understand why you didn't know it. You probably read the same newspapers Sarah Palin reads.

Posted by: bdouglaswalker | October 3, 2008 3:16 AM | Report abuse

Where do these lunatics come from? Are there still people out there who believe that Obama is Muslim? Obama never was Muslim. He never went to muslim schools. He never studied Islam. He was pretty much not religious until he moved to Chicago, at which point he became a practicing Christian.

Personally I worry about anyone who truely believes in any religion, and I would be very very concerned about a politician who truely believes in any religion. I want a logical leader who is able to solve complex problems by gathering information and calculating the best course of action. We have seen in Bush what happens when a politician trys to solve problems by praying for answers, and we and our children and their children are going to pay for the answers that Bush got from "god".

Posted by: bjuhasz | October 3, 2008 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Ed Rollins put it best "She lives another day".

Posted by: blarsen1 | October 3, 2008 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Let's all print our own ballots...multiple times!

Obama is so far ahead if McCain steals this election their will be blood. I know people who are already planning their march on Washington if McCain is selected. Don't forget the pitchforks!

Posted by: blarsen1 | October 3, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

If you are an American, you should be able to vote, and that vote should count. All the rest is BS.

Muslim? Communist? That is also BS. As long as we focus on the nonsense, nothing good will be accomplished. Joe Biden turned in a stellar performance this evening. Sarah Palin looked pretty good as well. In fact, I think the two best debaters in the contest were on stage tonight. There are stark differences between the two tickets, and also strong similarities. I think, in the end, things will be okay, regardless of who wins, if only the nuts on both sides of the arguments would just grow up.

Posted by: jspitler | October 3, 2008 1:21 AM | Report abuse

In the shadow of the blatant and stunning sexism launched against the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign by Barack Hussein Obama and the liberal media, democratic Hillary supporters were thrilled to hear John McCain announce Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, because, she offers Americans a chance to vote for someone who is her own woman, and who represents a party that, while we don't agree on all the issues, at least respects women enough to take them seriously.
Having a woman in the White House, and not as The Spouse, is a change whose time has come, despite the fact that the media and Democratic Party leaders have decided otherwise. But with the Sarah Palin’s nomination, Clinton voters, in particular, have received a political wake-up call they never expected. Having watched their candidate and their principles betrayed by the very people who are supposed to be the flame-holders for equal rights and fairness, they now looking across the aisle and see a woman who represents everything the feminist movement claimed it stood for. Women can have a family and a career.
The democratic party’s bullying of the Clinton candidacy during the primary season was the first revelation of how misogynistic and sexist the democratic party has become. The democratic party has moved from taking the female vote for granted to outright contempt for women. That's why Sarah Palin represents the most serious conservative threat ever to the modern democratic liberal claim on issues of male cultural and social superiority.
The time is now for a woman to be in the White House as an equal partner in governance.
The time is now for John McCain/Sarah Palin.
Country First! McCain/Palin

Posted by: Manolete | October 2, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

DEMOCRAT HAVARD LAW VS. GOP REPUBLICAN CRASH JET AND MUDVILLE.

NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

Posted by: fu_buki | October 2, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, madcitizen. Here comes Palin!!!

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

MCCAIN MUST BE DESPERATE TO PICK_UP A DIMWITTED COCKTAIL WAITRESS,WHOSE BEST FEATURE IS HER GLASSES.

NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

Posted by: fu_buki | October 2, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA IS A RADICAL MUSLIM COMMUNIST TERRORIST!

PALIN IS THE REINCARNATION OF THE HOLY MOTHER MARY, SHE WILL GIVE BIRTH TO THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST AND HE WILL SAVE US ALL EXCEPT FOR THE MUSLIMS AND THE DEMOCRATS!

SANTACLAUS/HAILMARY '08!

Posted by: paulflorez | October 2, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

>>>Disqualifying a voter for not checking a box is a Bush League move - ALA George W. Bush.

In Florida, it's a practice of Democrats! in 2000, democrats circulated memos on how to and sued to disqualify military votes. This year Howard Brush Dean III, chairman of DNC, ruled to ignore all democrat votes during the primary.

Posted by: FloridaCounts | October 2, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

MarkInAustin-

Oh, yes. I definitely agree.

Posted by: madcitizen | October 2, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is poised to steal a third 'election.' We won't tolerate another coup d'etat by these terrorists.

Arming the Left: Is the time now? --by Charles Southwell 21 Oct 2003
http://www.legitgov.org/essay_southwell_arming_the_left_is_the_time_now_102203.html


Posted by: lorifromclg | October 2, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

This is really funny. As I heard the story reported several weeks ago, the Obama's camp was sending these intentionally invalid ballots to Republican voters in several swing states - Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, and North Carolina for sure.

The idea was to knock out REPUBLICAN voters. Nice

Posted by: pro36 | October 2, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Shady Liberals will try anything...they will accept a bum who they pulled from a homeless shelter that can only mark an 'X'..but given a food ticket if they remember to check the box...LOL

Posted by: pro36 | October 2, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

fu_buki Harvad has a lover standard for black students like any other school in US.I can believe this after I saw Obama mumbling like retard on several occasions

Posted by: pro36 | October 2, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

This is really funny. As I heard the story reported several weeks ago, the McCain camp was sending these intentionally invalid ballots to Democratic voters in several swing states - Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, and North Carolina for sure.

The idea was to knock out DEMOCRATIC voters. So the Democratic Secretary of State made a bad decision that was corrected through the diligent effort of Republican voters! Nice.

Posted by: extramedium | October 2, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Shady Democrats will try anything...they will accept a democrat who they pulled from a homeless shelter that can only mark an 'X'..but given a food ticket if they remember to check the box...LOL

Posted by: JWx2 | October 2, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

D STUDENT OBSCENELY RICH WALL STREET OILLL MILLIONAIRE CRASH EVERY PLANE,MCCAIN WAS A D STUDENT,AND GRADUATE LAST IN HIS CLASS.MCCAIN,AND MCBUSH WALL STREET OILLLL MILLIONAIRE SHARE FAILED ACADEMIC RECORDS.D STUDENT OBCENELY RICH WALL STREET OILLLL MILLIONAIRE CRASH EVERY PLANE MCCAIN IS ALSO INTENET ILLITERATE WHICH SLOW DOWN HIS INFORMATION PROCESSING CAPACITY.IS THIS GOOD FOR AMERICA?


IRISH AMERICAN,AND HAVARD LAW SCHOLAR BARACK OBAMA WORKED HARD,AND BECAME PRESIDENT OF THE HAVARD LAW REVIEW.
IRISH AMERICAN BARACK OBAMA'S HAVARD SCHOLARSHIP RANKS AMONG THE BEST.IRISH AMERICAN,AND HAVARD LAW SCHOLAR BARACK OBAMA HARD WORK REPRESENT THE AMERICAN DREAM.

NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

Posted by: fu_buki | October 2, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

We are mising one very important point -Obama is the muslim communist with a communist agenda for this country.Never mind that he is the coward voting 100% with his party and has no single thought of his own.Could we afford a muslim communist in WH?

Posted by: pro36 | October 2, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

See Biden using a Palin look alike to practice the debate, http://www.watchdebate.com You can see all of the debate videos, See Clips from your favorite debates WatchDebate.com

Posted by: pastor123 | October 2, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

If you want to start posting YouTubes, then perhaps you should see this one before considering a McCain vote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFM1xqqTX_g

Posted by: skolniks | October 2, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Actually, OHIO is leaning toward Obama. http://www.electoral-vote.com

Posted by: JonSM99 | October 2, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Read an OHIO newspaper on the internet.
There is no question why OHIO moves elections towards The GOP.

One could say, OHIO is to blame for
allowing Bush Inc to rape and pillage
their way through the entire US Treasury

Posted by: TruthWalksOnWater | October 2, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio_Supreme_Court

"With the election of Justice Robert R. Cupp in November 2006 to replace Democrat Alice Robie Resnick, the Court is currently all Republican."

Posted by: JonSM99 | October 2, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

You're absolutely right krm13, which is what makes me ill. As SonOfHistoryTeacher said, Obama should be applauding this ruling, I know I am. Obama has no need to resort to the tactics of the past two elections. This ruling will just help to support the validity of his win when McCain cries foul on election day.

Posted by: itsjustkate | October 2, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Your post ought to note that all seven members of the Ohio Supreme Court are Republicans.

Posted by: JonSM99 | October 2, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

madcitizen, I get frustrated with government snafus too, but you agree that we can't let INELIGIBLE voters vote, right? And, if you think Registrar of Voters is bad, just wait until the government takes over all of our healthcare.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

"Offices that house President Bush's re-election campaign in Spokane were broken into and vandalized last night, the latest in a string of crimes at Republican offices across the country."

BY DAVID POSTMAN
THE SEATTLE TIMES
OCTOBER 11, 2004

Posted by: dbj1 | October 2, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I live in Ohio. I am a veteran. I have a drivers license, passport, utility bills, VA card and American Legion card. When I went to vote in the primaries they sent me packing, even with all of that identification, and after having mailed my registration to the Ohio atty general months before. I hope this isn't an indication of things to come.

I finally received my registration, and am now carrying that in my wallet just to be sure ( I hope! ).

Posted by: madcitizen | October 2, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

This is the correct ruling.

Disqualifying a voter for not checking a box is a Bush League move - ALA George W. Bush.

Obama should applaud this ruling, even if it means more votes against him in Ohio.

I'll be sorely disappointed if it can be proven that Obama had anything to do with this effort by the Ohio Sec. of State. I have not, nor will I ever, condone the actions of the FL and OH secy's of state in 2000 and 2004.

Regardless, I plan to vote for Obama - and to hold him accountable!

Posted by: SonOfHistoryTeacher | October 2, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

"Tossing aside a plea agreement that called for probation, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Michael B. Brennan sentenced four Democratic Party workers to jail Wednesday for slashing tires on 25 vans rented by Republicans to take voters to polls for the 2004 presidential election."

BY MEG JONES
MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL
APRIL 26, 2006

Posted by: dbj1 | October 2, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Brunner was simply following GOP protocols as set forth in Florida and upheld by SCOTUS in Bush v. Gore.

Posted by: krm13 | October 2, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

OUR BAIL OUT CRISIS WAS CAUSED BY A HANDFUL OF CORRUPT CONGRESSMEN AND A HANDFUL OF EQUALLY CORRUPT FANNIE MAE OFFICIALS. THEY BOUGHT UP OVER $ 7 TRILLION IN BAD DEBT JUST SO THEY COULD PAD THE BOOKS AND COLLECT HUGE SALARY BONUSES. THIS LEFT THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER ON THE HOOK FOR HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OR PERHAPS EVEN TRILLIONS.

HERE ARE THE THREE VIDEOS THOSE CORRUPT FANNIE MAE OFFICIALS & AT LEAST FIVE CORRUPT GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS DON'T WANT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO SEE:

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


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


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2WKtp01yOw

Do Your Part And Pass These Videos Along To Everyone You Know And Lets See The Crooks Put In Jail. Unless Obama Appoints One Of These Crooks To The Attorney General Post Like He Has promised.

Posted by: gdodd414 | October 2, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

No. Every LEGALLY REGISTERED voter should be allowed to vote (only once though, I'm looking at you Chicago).

Posted by: JakeD | October 2, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't vote for a Republican again if my life depended on it . . . HOWEVER, I think it should be easier for everyone to vote. Not more difficult. I applaud the ruling.

Posted by: notbuyinganyofit | October 2, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't it be illegal for any ballot other than provided by the election board?

Posted by: 1FLWB2 | October 2, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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