U.S. District Judge Marbley finds that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted violated provisional voters’ substantive due process and equal-protection rights, violated a federal Consent Decree, and violated state law by–at the eleventh-hour, the Friday night before the election–shifting from poll workers to voters the statutory responsibility of recording identification information, and then directing elections boards to disenfranchise voters where the information was incomplete or missing.
[Among the judge’s findings:]
“Counsel for the Secretary unambiguously assured this Court that the Secretary understood the recording of ‘identifying information’ to be a duty ‘imposed upon the poll worker’ and that the failure to do so would not ‘invalidate ballots.’ The Court relied on this statement to the Plaintiff’s detriment. Nine days after making that representation to the Court, the Secretary ordered that no provisional ballots be counted if the identification information was improperly recorded, without [e]ngaging in fact-finding to support the change.” (PAGE 13)
“The surreptitious manner in which the Secretary went about implementing this last minute change to the election rule casts serious doubts on his protestations of good faith.” (PAGE 13)
“Herethe Secretary’s eleventh hour Directive, which disenfranchises an unknown but potentially large number of Ohio voters and violates state law, is one of the ‘rare, but serious’ violations of state election law” that violate substantive due process. (PAGE 14)
“The poor drafting of Form 12-B which, by design or by accident, purports to shift the poll worker’s statutory duty to record the form of identification to the provisional voter, did not provide occasion for the Plaintiffs to seek injunctive relief until the Secretary issue Directive 2012-54 at 7:00 pm on November 2…” (PAGE 9)
“Ohio voters reasonably expect that the Secretary of Ohio will abide by the General Assembly’s laws in administering a federal election. For an executive official of the state to [flout] state law in arbitrarily reassigning a poll worker’s statutory duty to a voter, with the result being disenfranchisement of the voter, is ‘fundamentally unfair and constitutionally impermissible.’” (PAGE 15)
read more (including a copy of the judge’s order)
I am really hoping that charges are filed here. A message needs to be sent that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.