Ohio’s elections chief, Jon Husted, has been blasted by a federal judge questioning his motives on creating new vote-counting rules that would violate Ohio state law just days before the Presidential election on November 6.
District Judge Algenon Marbley stated through his 17-page ruling that a directive on counting the provisional ballots that Jon Husted issued on November 2 was a “flagrant violation of a state elections law” that could disenfranchise voters.
Husted defended himself in claiming that this ruling would allow potentially fraudulent votes to be counted.
The Nov. 2 directive to local election officials gave them new directions to discard certain provisional ballots from voters who improperly filled out the portion of the ballot application that asks for a form of personal identification.
In Marbley’s ruling, it was stated that the directive violates an Ohio law that places responsibility on the poll workers and not the applicants to properly fill out the applications to vote.
Lawyer Subodh Chandra of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, said that Husted’s directive has added to the pattern of disenfranchising the poorest voters. The form also makes it difficult for election officials to determine if the flawed applications are at the fault of the poll worker or the voter.
Ultimately, Marbley wrote in the ruling that if the voter acts in good faith, he or she should not suffer disenfranchisement as a result of Husted’s drafting errors.