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Group Challenges Ohio Voting Procedures

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Republican Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is criticizing a new federal lawsuit against the state's voting procedures as politically motivated. An attorney for Democrat Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is among those representing the Ohio Organizing Collaborative and three individuals who seek an injunction against elements of a settlement struck last month between Husted, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and other civil-rights groups in a similar case. Nick Castele of member station WCPN in Cleveland reports.

The lawsuit was filed by a group called the Ohio Organizing Collaborative.  
 
Among the provisions it challenges are rules limiting each county to one early voting location, as well as the elimination of Golden Week, when voters can register and cast ballots the same day. The suit alleges African-American, Hispanic and student voters are disproportionately affected.  
 
In a statement, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted suggested the suit carried a whiff of presidential politics.  
 
“Ohioans don’t want politically motivated, legal lap dogs messing around in our elections,” Husted’s statement read. He noted one of the attorneys, whom he did not name, represents Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.  
 
Marc Elias of law firm Perkins Coie, who is one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, is general counsel for Hillary for America.  
 
In an email, Elias wrote his suit was on behalf of the parties named in the complaint—that is, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative and three voters.  
 
“It is unfortunate that Secretary Husted chose to respond with a political attack rather than working to remedy the problems identified in our suit,” he wrote.  
 
This is just the latest fight over voting rules for Husted. He was sued by the Obama campaign in advance of the 2012 election and settled a lawsuit with the NAACP and American Civil Liberties Union this year.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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