New directive by Ohio secretary of state has some saying he is trying to suppress Tuesday's vote
By Brandon Blackwell, The Plain Dealer
oNovember 03, 2012 at 7:10 PM, updated November 03, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Four days before Election Day, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted emphasized to boards of elections a step that voters who use provisional ballots on Tuesday will have to take.
Voters will be obligated to write on the provisional ballot form what type of ID they show at the polls and not rely on poll workers to do it for them, according to the directive issued late Friday afternoon.
Some voter advocates are crying foul. Attorney Subodh Chandra said he has asked a federal court to throw out the measure.
Matt McClellan, press secretary for Husted, said the secretary of state has not added a new regulation. He said the directive was needed because of recent court rulings, so that pollworkers know what is expected of them.
Chandra said Husted has ordered county boards of elections to reject provisional ballots when the form is not properly filled out.
Provisional ballots are cast for a variety of reasons on Election Day, often because a person reports to a polling place where he is not assigned to vote.
Critics of Husted's directive held a news conference Saturday outside the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.
"SOS used to stand for secretary of state, but under the leadership of Jon Husted, SOS stands for secretary of suppression, and that is exactly what he is doing in his office," said State Sen. Nina Turner, a Cleveland Democrat.
Husted, a Republican, has been at the center of a number of election issues this year, including ones concerning hours and days for early voting. Previously, a court struck down a state law and permitted early balloting this weekend -- the last one before Election Day. Some 3,125 people voted Saturday at the Cuyahoga County board.