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Government & Politics

Former Ohio Secretary of State Denies Husted Followed the Same Rules for 17-Year-Old Voters

photo of Jennifer Brunner

Seventeen-year-olds were allowed to vote for presidential candidates in the Ohio primary two weeks ago because of a lawsuit filed by groups including Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted said he’d been following the same rules that his Democratic predecessor used, but she doesn't see it that way.

Former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, says she was surprised when she saw some of the affidavits showing how boards of elections interpreted Husted’s order that 17- year-olds could not vote in the presidential primary.

He’d said only people over 18 have the power to elect presidential delegates, which is what Ohio primary voters do.  But Brunner says that’s not the order she issued when she was in charge.

“Our directive in 2008 did not say anything along the lines that his did about nominating a presidential candidate is actually electing delegates.”

Brunner couldn't talk about this before now because she was part of a legal proceeding that could have been used if Husted appealed in the days leading up to the March 15 primary.