Appeals Court Tells Ohio: Provisional Ballots Without Proper ID Won’t Count

Shortly before the election, I bemoaned the SCOTUS decision to allow Ohio early voting the final weekend before November 6. Now here’s something positive:

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted in a legal battle over counting provisional ballots cast in the Nov. 6 election.

The appeals court today granted a stay of a decision earlier this week by U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley that ordered Husted to count provisional ballots cast by voters that may have lacked the proper identification on the ballot envelope. The number of affected votes is estimated to be very small – from a few hundred up to 2,000 or so.

Husted said his position has been vindicated.

“I am pleased that the court has once again ruled to uphold consistent standards and to maintain the integrity of Ohio’s elections process,” he said in a statement.

Husted said the appeals court panel recognized that the lawsuit filed on behalf of a northeastern Ohio voter coalition inaccurately portrayed his directive to county boards of election. He said the previous decision represented “a dramatic departure from prior policy” that would “compromise the interest of Ohio and the public in fair and orderly election procedures.”

The counting of provisional ballots will begin Monday.

If we could just get a law making it mandatory to prove who you are (with a photo ID) on Election Day…

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