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US Supreme Court Backs Brunner; Protects OH Voters

For Immediate Release October 17, 2008

US Supreme Court Backs Brunner; Protects Ohio Voters

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The United States Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner was correct in protecting an estimated 200,000 Ohioans from being disenfranchised in this historic election.

Because of the Ohio Republican Party lawsuit, eligible Ohio voters could have been forced to use provisional ballots if a lower court’s divided decision stands. Provisional ballots are not counted until 10 days after Election Day and are subject to partisan wrangling and legal fights.

“Our nation’s highest court has protected the voting rights of all Ohioans, allowing our bipartisan elections officials to continue preparing for a successful November election. We filed this appeal to protect all Ohio voters from illegal challenges and barriers that unfairly silence the votes of some to the advantage of others,” Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said.

As Secretary Brunner noted on Thursday, she appealed a lower court ruling to the US Supreme Court because no eligible Ohio voter should be forced to use a provisional ballot, which is subject to partisan attacks and legal wrangling after Election Day. Ohioans who have followed the law and simply want to exercise their right to vote should not be penalized because of federal government red tape, database matching errors and computer glitches," according to the Secretary.

“Now that the nation’s highest court has ruled in favor of Ohio voters, I encourage everyone to support the bipartisan system of elections administration in our state. I ask all involved to stop the legal maneuvers that unnecessarily shake public confidence. We will continue to work with our local election officials to successfully prepare for an unprecedented turnout and a fair election process," Secretary Brunner commented.


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