October 27, 2006

Federal Judge Suspends Ohio Photo ID Law

Thanks to Paddy Shaffer and Steven Linnabary for this lead:

13abc.com reports:

Federal judge suspends Ohio's voter ID law

October 27, 2006 - COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A federal judge suspended Ohio's new voter identification law Thursday as it applies to absentee voting, saying the state's 88 counties are inconsistently applying the rule in the voting, which is already under way.

U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley granted the temporary restraining order on behalf of labor and poverty groups who sued Tuesday.

The ruling is in effect until Wednesday, when the judge will consider arguments from the same groups seeking to block application of the identification law for voters who go to the polls Nov. 7.

It's unclear how many absentee ballots have been cast since early voting began Oct. 3, said James Lee, spokesman for Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. None were scheduled to be counted before Election Day, and none will be disqualified, he said.

Assistant Attorney General Richard Coglianese said the state would appeal, perhaps as early as Friday. But Lee said the secretary of state's office would not join it.

"We have an election to run, and we do not have time to get caught up in endless litigation," Lee said.

Ohio, where a slim victory gave President Bush the electoral votes he needed for re-election in 2004, has a tight Senate race and a closely watched campaign for governor.

Complete article

Additional coverage:

Moritz Law

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