Ohio’s early voting program is shut down again, in another blow to Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. Unless she takes the matter to the Supreme Court, she will need to stop stonewalling the Ohio GOP in their efforts to screen out fake voters.
Last week a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking Ohio’s early-voting program spearheaded by Sec. Brunner. The program allowed people to register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day; Ohio Republicans (Brunner is a Democrat) complained that the program did not allow for sufficient oversight to prevent fraudulent registrations and votes, and the federal judge agreed.
Brunner appealed to the Sixth Circuit, where a three-judge panel called for the TRO to be reversed (and strangely broke with protocol by releasing their ruling before the full court heard the case, to which at least one judge took vocal exception). The full court overruled the panel and upheld the order yesterday, ordering the SecState to implement tighter controls on the program before reinstating it, including providing access to motor vehicle databases to match against new registrants.
ELB mentions that there is still time for Sec. Brunner to appeal to SCOTUS, and that Justice Stevens has rejected such an appeal before but that came on the eve of the election in 2004 and there simply was not time to hear it. With three weeks left, Brunner could still ask the court to reverse the TRO. However, existing case law (ELB cites Purcell) leans in the direction of deference to the federal court on these matters, and there are many underlying issues in this particular case that complicate matters considerably, so the odds that SCOTUS would hear such an appeal are not exactly bankable.
Miz Michelle has more.