Breaking News: Federal judge bans Ohio polling place challenges

by daily kos on November 1, 2004

A federal judge issued an order early Monday barring political party challengers from polling places throughout Ohio during Tuesday’s election. U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott found that the application of Ohio’s statute allowing challengers at polling places is unconstitutional.

She said the presence of challengers inexperienced in the electoral process questioning voters about their eligibility would impede voting. Dlott ruled on a lawsuit by a black Cincinnati couple who 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 …”

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