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Husted Files First Appellate Brief in NEOCH Case

COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today filed his first brief in the appeal of Case Number 16-3603,16-3691, The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless v. Jon Husted in his official capacity as the Ohio Secretary of State. The ruling being appealed in the case directly conflicts with the ruling issued in the Ohio Democratic Party v. Husted. The following are excerpts from the Secretary’s filing:

First Appellate Brief, Page 10:
“In the 2014 election, with [S.B. 216 in effect], voters cast 49,262 provisional ballots.  Ohio counted 90.4%, giving it the nation’s fifth highest acceptance rate.  Of 4,734 rejected ballots, over half were because the voter was unregistered.  Only 188 were rejected for address errors; only 59 for birthdate errors.  The 2015 statistics were similar (2015 included a well-publicized marijuana-legalization initiative).  Ohio counted 67,206 of the 79,414 provisional ballots.  Of the rejected ones, most (69%) were for non-registration.  Only 373 were rejected due to birthdate or address errors.”

First Appellate Brief, Pages 13 & 14:
“Since [S.B. 205’s] passage, Ohio’s absentee-ballot acceptance rate remains around 98%.  In 2014, Ohio counted 98.8% of the 864,562 absentee ballots cast.  In 2015, it counted 98.2% of those ballots.  Rejections due to birthdate and/or address errors accounted for little of the total:  0.16% (about 1380) in 2014, and 0.08% (about 330) in 2015.  Boards continued to reject most absentee ballots because voters did not timely return them.”

First Appellate Brief, Pages 57:
“[T]his sequel [to ODP] prejudiced Ohio by imposing two trials for the same claims.  When the supplemental complaint was allowed [in NEOCH], another group, OOC, had already filed a new case raising identical claims (and many others).  The Ohio Democratic Party pursued the supplemental complaint here and substituted for OOC there.  When OOC tried to dismiss the overlapping claims in ODP, that court agreed with Ohio that the claims should be pursued there because it was set for trial in two months, while this case had no schedule.  So Ohio confronted a two-week trial in ODP in November 2015, and then a two-week trial here in March 2016… Ohio’s victory in ODP precludes these claims.”

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