House and Senate Democrats joined together to demand that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and stop rejecting provisional and absentee ballots because of minor paperwork mistakes.
“The Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires that no vote be thrown out because of a simple paperwork mistake made by a poll worker, a voter, or any other person,” stated Sen. Nina Turner (D-Cleveland). “Yet many provisional and absentee ballots are being disqualified for that very reason. Secretary Husted must stop creating obstacles, start following the law, and count these votes.”
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 reads, “No person acting under color of law shall . . . deny the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election.” 42 USC 1971(a)(2)(B).
“Let’s not turn the clock back and start ignoring provisions of the Civil Rights Act,” stated Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati). “We are throwing out provisional ballots left and right because of paperwork errors made by poll workers directing voters to the wrong precinct, and this must stop.”
House Democrats have closely scrutinized the ballot-counting process in two closely contested house races that could determine whether the Republicans have gerrymandered themselves into a supermajority despite losing the statewide popular vote. Many violations of federal law have been uncovered, including the rejecting of many provisional and absentee ballots because of simple paperwork mistakes.
“Voters’ ballots have been thrown out in Tuscarawas County because poll workers made mistakes in which envelope to use, on paperwork they were required to complete, and in failing to have voters complete required fields,” said Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent). “Secretary Husted should immediately issue a directive requiring counties to comply with federal law.”