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Government and Politics

Judge extends order for Ohio elections boards to accept partial SS numbers
Order for Ohio runs through 2016, covering next presidential election

Karen Kasler
A judge ruled Ohioans will only need to provide the last four digits of their social security number as voting ID through 2016.
Courtesy of Robert Sustersic
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In The Region:

A federal judge has extended a ruling that requires elections officials to count provisional ballots when voters use partial Social Security numbers as I.D. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.


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The ruling means that voters who does not have or want to use proof of address can use the last four digits of their Social Security numbers as identification on provisional ballots, and that those ballots will be counted no matter where they are cast. Advocates for homeless people sought the ruling, which they say ensures uniformity and voter protection. Subodh Chandra represented the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless.

“The consent decree ensures that we have broad expansion and franchising definitions of voter I.D.," Chandra says. "So all kinds of voter I.D. will be honored and there won’t be an ability to pick and choose and restrict the types of voter I.D. that are used.”

More clarity needed
Secretary of State Jon Husted says it does not change anything for Ohio voters. However, he says there are still plenty of murky issues with regard to I.D. that voters can use.

“Frankly, I think one of the things that the judge would agree on and I would agree on is that the General Assembly does need to act to make sure that we have a law in place that is clear about what forms of identification can be used to qualify your ballot for counting,” Husted says.

And Husted says he wants the issue finalized, which is why he says he has been fighting the homeless advocates on this decree.

“We believe that the Ohio Revised Code should be the governing authority, and not an agreement between a Secretary of State and a judge," Husted says. "That’s what democracy is about. It’s about the publicly elected officials through the legislative process making the rules under which an election is run.”

Is Husted stalling?
But Chandra says he is disappointed that Husted keeps fighting the decree.

“The Secretary of State’s approach always seems to be to try to restrict the right to vote, and what our clients have been trying to do is to make sure that everybody has the opportunity, that there’s plenty of opportunity – plenty of ways, forms of ID to use, times that you can go and vote – and so it’s been very upsetting to see this effort to try to restrict and narrow and make things more difficult,” Chandra says.

The order from Judge Algenon Marbley runs through 2016, so it covers the next presidential election in Ohio, unless state lawmakers change the law or another lawsuit is filed.

Listener Comments:

People need decision makers, like Husted that base decisions on critical thinking, rather than special interests/progressive agendas'. - " Advocates for homeless people sought the ruling, which they say ensures uniformity and voter protection. Subodh Chandra represented the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless." -such a worthy effort, too bad the liberals(not saying Chandra, or Coalition for Homeless is liberal) don't really care about the homeless; their interests is in votes - "The order from Judge Algenon Marbley runs through 2016, so it covers the next presidential election in Ohio, unless state lawmakers change the law or another lawsuit is filed." We need this "reform" as much as we need Obamacare, and his other "fixes".

Posted by: Not progressive on August 6, 2013 3:08AM
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