BREAKING: Judge: Ohio ‘Poll Challengers’ Unconstitutional


Richard Moore

BREAKING: Judge: Ohio 'Poll Challengers' Unconstitutional

 Judge Bars Challengers From Polling Places 
The Associated Press 

Monday 01 November 2004 

Dlott hands Republicans another legal setback.

A federal judge in Cincinnati early today barred political
party challengers at polling places throughout Ohio.

In another legal setback for Republicans, U.S. District Judge
Susan Dlott ruled that the presence of challengers
inexperienced in the electoral process would impede voting on

She ruled that application of Ohio's statute allowing
challengers at polling places is unconstitutional.

Dlott ruled on a lawsuit by a Cincinnati couple, Marian
Spencer, a former Cincinnati city council member, and her
husband Donald.

The Spencers said Republican plans to deploy challengers to
largely black precincts in Hamilton County was meant to
intimidate and block black voters.

Republicans said they wanted to prevent voter fraud.

Dlott said in her preliminary injunction order that the
evidence "does not indicate that the presence of additional
challengers would serve Ohio's interest in preventing voter
fraud better than would the system of election judges ..."

It was the second election-related ruling by Dlott that went
against the Republicans.

On Friday, Dlott stopped all hearings on about 30,000 new
voter registration challenges in Ohio.

While Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell was named as a
defendant in the suit, he spoke out Friday against allowing
the private challengers in the polling places.

On Friday, Blackwell instructed Attorney General Jim Petro to
recommend that challengers from both political parties be
excluded from polling places because there was not enough time
to resolve the legal issues. Petro refused, saying Blackwell's
request was illegal.

© : t r u t h o u t 2004 


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Richard Moore (rkm)
Wexford, Ireland

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