Friday, October 17, 2008


An effort by the Ohio Republican Party to gain access to voter registration data that would have enabled them to challenge voters' eligibility at polling places in Ohio has been thwarted by the Supreme Court today.

The Supreme Court lifted a U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio order to require Ohio election officials to set up new procedures to verify voter registration across the state before the 4 November elections.  

Secretary of State of Ohio Jennifer Brunner had filed an application to stay a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) directing her to comply with Section 303 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit denied the Secretary’s motion to vacate the TRO. The Secretary had filed an application to stay the TRO with JUSTICE STEVENS as Circuit Justice for the Sixth Circuit, and he referred the matter to the Court. Secretary of State Brunner argued both that the District Court had no jurisdiction to enter the TRO and that its ruling on the merits was erroneous.

The unsigned Per Curiam order states also, "We express no opinion on the question whether HAVA is being properly implemented. Respondents, however, are not sufficiently likely to prevail on the question whether Congress has authorized the District Court to enforce Section 303 in an action brought by a private litigant to justify the issuance of a TRO."

The Court cited as precedent a 2002 ruling which essentially grants Brunner the sole authority to deal with mis-matched voter registration forms, thus the Ohio GOP cannot sue to make her honor their request.

There is a BIG "however," though.... and this is offered in the form of a question...

Are not voter registration files PUBLIC information?

At least SOME of this data is even available ON LINE....IN OHIO!

Analysis might be impossible before the election, however, can not a case be made AFTER the election?

Then it would be a matter of holding accountable those who would NOT take prudent action to ensure that the election results were accurate, in addition to taking action to correct whatever errors resulted from fraudulent voting.

Tell me if you think this is a valid assessment.

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