Testimony Done In Dispute Over Ohio Ballot Rules

Mar 31, 2016

Testimony has wrapped up in a dispute that could affect how thousands of ballots are cast and counted in Ohio.

At issue are several changes to the swing state's requirements for absentee or provisional ballots enacted in 2014.

The Ohio Democratic Party and advocates for the homeless are suing the state's elections chief in Columbus federal court, claiming the laws and the procedures for counting those ballots create new hurdles for voters, particularly minorities. Among other arguments, they allege that valid ballots are being wrongly rejected.

The state's attorneys say the challenged laws are reasonable, nondiscriminatory and impose a minimal burden on voters.

U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley heard testimony from county elections officials, election experts and others in the bench trial. Additional court briefs are expected before he rules.