Courts Support Brunner on In-Person Registration & Early Voting
Complete and total vindication for Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner on her implementation of the overlap for in-person registration and early voting from September 30th (tomorrow) through October 6th. The all-Republican Ohio Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling, wrote that Brunner "correctly instructed boards of elections." U.S. District Court Judge
Susan James Gwin, a Northern District of Ohio jurist Clinton appointee, put it bluntly:
Candidly, the underlying merits of issues are not even close. With regard to the interpretation of Ohio law, Defendant Brunner obviously determined the issue correctly. As described below, Defendant Madison County's position runs wholly contrary to the Ohio statutory scheme.
The Republicans tried to get a contrary ruling from U.S. District Court Judge George C. Smith, a Southern District of Ohio judge appointed by Reagan, but he abstained from ruling on the merits due to the decision by the Ohio Supreme Court.
This is a thorough repudiation of GOP attempts to jam up a voting procedure created by election legislation that they themselves passed. Here is Brunner's statement, issued after the ruling by Judge Gwin:
Judge Gwin's decision is a victory for the rule of law and for the voting rights of every Ohioan. We will continue preparing for this presidential election and working with Ohio's boards of elections to make voting accessible, secure and reliable for the state's voters. My administration has and will continue to focus on increasing access for all eligible Ohioans
ODP Chair Chris Redfern also chimed in:
A federal court judge has confirmed what nonpartisan voting experts, newspapers from across the ideological spectrum and the Secretary of State already knew. Ohio law, as written by a Republican legislature, should continue as passed and early voting should move forward as planned. The Republican's cynical 11th-hour ploy to disenfranchise Ohio voters has been soundly rejected in federal court. We encourage all Ohio voters to participate in this historic and important election.
Ohio Republicans thought they could achieve Blackwellian voter suppression by resorting to the all-Republican Ohio Supreme Court, but that strategy has failed.