Voting rights groups sue Ohio officials including Sec of State Blackwell for allegedly violating federal voter registration law
Published: Thursday September 21, 2006
Voting rights groups filed a lawsuit against Ohio officials, including Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell for allegedly violating a federal voter registration law.
"A federal lawsuit filed in Cleveland today charges that Ohio's Secretary of State, Kenneth Blackwell, and the Director of its Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS), Barbara Riley, have violated the rights of thousands of low-income Ohioans by failing to provide voter registration opportunities in public assistance offices as required by the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA)," according to a press release received by RAW STORY. "The NVRA is a federal law enacted 13 years ago to encourage voter registration and turnout in elections."
"The lawsuit, brought by Carrie Harkless, Tameca Mardis and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), alleges that offices of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services failed to provide Harkless, Mardis and thousands of other low-income Ohioans with the opportunity to register to vote or change their voter registration address during visits to DJFS offices to apply for or recertify their eligibility for public assistance benefits," the press release continues.
Lisa Danetz, staff attorney for the National Voting Rights Institute, calls Ohio's "disregard" for low-income residents' voting rights "appalling" in the press release.
"Once again, Ohio officials are breaking the laws they are sworn to uphold, and thousands of Ohioans have lost their right to register to vote as a result," said Danetz.
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