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Judges Bar Party Challengers at Ohio Polls

Old 11-01-04, 11:20 AM
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Judges Bar Party Challengers at Ohio Polls

CINCINNATI - Two federal judges on Monday barred parties from posting challengers at polling places throughout Ohio, saying poll workers, not outsiders, should determine voter eligibility. State Republicans planned to appeal.


An order by U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott of Cincinnati found that the application of Ohio's statute allowing challengers at polling places was unconstitutional.


In a similar case, U.S. District Judge John Adams of Akron said poll workers are the ones to determine if voters are eligible.


"In light of these extraordinary circumstances, and the contentious nature of the imminent election, the court cannot and must not turn a blind eye to the substantial likelihood that significant harm will result not only to voters, but also to the voting process itself, if appointed challengers are permitted at the polls," Adams said.

Dlott said the presence of challengers inexperienced in the electoral process questioning voters about their eligibility would impede voting.


In comments made before Adams ruled, Mark Weaver, lawyer for the Ohio Republican Party, called Dlott's ruling erroneous and said the party would ask the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (news - web sites) in Cincinnati to overturn it.


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.


Adams ruled in a suit by the Summit County Democratic Party, which claimed the law allowing registration challenges is unconstitutional because it does not give a disqualified voter a chance to appeal in time to cast a ballot.


Republicans wanted to put challengers in many polling places because of concerns about fraud with hundreds of thousands of newly registered voters in a state President Bush (news - web sites) and Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) both say they need to win.

(more)

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...pr/ohio_voting

I have to agree - I thought it was crazy when I heard they were going to do this. In California you cant even have a sign outside a polling place. I saw a pick of Florida and there were signs everywhere in the ground and people outside with them??? Crazy if you ask me?
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Old 11-01-04, 11:21 AM
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Once again the judiciary sticks its nose where it doesn't belong.
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Old 11-01-04, 11:25 AM
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Originally posted by classicman2
Once again the judiciary sticks its nose where it doesn't belong.
Yes, in interpreting the law.
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Old 11-01-04, 11:31 AM
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Election poll eligibility challengers make baby Jesus cry.
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Old 11-01-04, 11:32 AM
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Originally posted by dork
Yes, in interpreting the law.
Did you have that opinion when the Supreme Court intervened in the Florida fiasco in 2000?
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Old 11-01-04, 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by classicman2
Did you have that opinion when the Supreme Court intervened in the Florida fiasco in 2000?
Uh... yes?
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Old 11-01-04, 03:35 PM
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Originally posted by classicman2
Did you have that opinion when the Supreme Court intervened in the Florida fiasco in 2000?
The SC didn't intervene. A case was brought before them which questioned whether the Florida SC established new standards for resolving Presidential election contests, thereby violating Art. II, 1, cl. 2, of the United States Constitution. They reviewed the case and rendered a judgement.

Source: Cornell Univ. Legal Information Instutute
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Old 11-01-04, 04:00 PM
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Originally posted by kenbuzz
The SC didn't intervene. A case was brought before them which questioned whether the Florida SC established new standards for resolving Presidential election contests, thereby violating Art. II, 1, cl. 2, of the United States Constitution. They reviewed the case and rendered a judgement.

Source: Cornell Univ. Legal Information Instutute
They intervened.

They weren't required to hear the case.
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Old 11-01-04, 08:40 PM
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Thought I'd update this.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has just REVERSED these two federal judges. Repubs can challenge questionable voters at Ohio Polls starting when they open at 6:30 tomorrow morning.

It's doubtful the Democrats have enough time to appeal to the Supreme Court.
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Old 11-01-04, 09:29 PM
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Originally posted by Goldblum
Thought I'd update this.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has just REVERSED these two federal judges. Repubs can challenge questionable voters at Ohio Polls starting when they open at 6:30 tomorrow morning.

It's doubtful the Democrats have enough time to appeal to the Supreme Court.


They should be reversed.

Vote challengers have been part of the election process for longer than anyone on this forum can remember.
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Old 11-01-04, 10:38 PM
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Originally posted by classicman2


They should be reversed.

Vote challengers have been part of the election process for longer than anyone on this forum can remember.
To make sure I understand your position here....

You think it's a good thing that any old random person can show up at your polling place and challenge your right to vote? Not a qualified election official even, just any person who happens to walk in.

Sure, how could that possibly be abused.
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Old 11-01-04, 10:49 PM
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BS. I'm a poll watcher tomorrow. Only ONE person from each campaign can be there at any one time, and the only thing you can do is ask their name.

You have to go through a briefing, but it doesn't take more than ten minutes. If a busload of mexicans showed up, then all we could do is call a number. There's absolutely no power bestowed onto the poll watcher. If you don't want to say your name, something's undoubtedly fishy, and if you're trying to abuse the political process you should have your ass nailed to the wall, regardless of which party you support.

In answer to your question as to whether or not I think it's good?

Yes.
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Old 11-01-04, 11:14 PM
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Originally posted by DarkestPhoenix
BS. I'm a poll watcher tomorrow. Only ONE person from each campaign can be there at any one time, and the only thing you can do is ask their name.

You have to go through a briefing, but it doesn't take more than ten minutes. If a busload of mexicans showed up, then all we could do is call a number. There's absolutely no power bestowed onto the poll watcher. If you don't want to say your name, something's undoubtedly fishy, and if you're trying to abuse the political process you should have your ass nailed to the wall, regardless of which party you support.

In answer to your question as to whether or not I think it's good?

Yes.
Uh huh. Again, let me make sure I understand your position again....

You believe that an individual shows up to vote tomorrow, and is approached by a complete stranger with no official connection to the voting proccess. That stranger is challanging your right to vote and wants your name. And you contend that in that situation only someone who is "fishy" wouldn't play ball.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you there. Should an election official question me, well that's a different matter. But if some random person starts questioning the legitimacy of my vote, he/she will certainly not get my name. Same thing if some random person comes to my car and asks for my drivers license. You know, to verify that I'm allowed to drive.

I just hope DarkestPhoenix isn't at my polling place when Juan, Carlos, Maria and I pull up in our bus.
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Old 11-01-04, 11:26 PM
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Anyone have a linky to the Sixth Cir. ruling overturning the two federal judges in OH???

I can't find anything on cnn, msnbc, google news, 6th cir. website, etc...
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Old 11-02-04, 02:32 AM
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http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...d=694&ncid=716

Court OKs Voter Challengers at Ohio Polls

By TERRY KINNEY, Associated Press Writer

CINCINNATI - A federal appeals court has cleared the way for challengers to be present at polling places in Ohio, ruling early Tuesday that their presence on Election Day is allowed under state law.

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (news - web sites) ruled 2-1 to grant emergency stays of two federal judges' orders Monday that barred political parties' voter challengers in Ohio. The judges also consolidated the two cases.

The court said that while there is a strong public interest in letting registered voters vote freely, there is also "strong public interest in permitting legitimate statutory processes to operate to preclude voting by those who are not entitled to vote."

The judges also said that smooth and effective administration of the voting laws means that the rules can't be changed in the hours immediately preceding the election.

The dissent said the citizens of Ohio have the right to vote without the "threat of suppression, intimidation or chaos sown by partisan political operatives."

Republicans wanted to put challengers in many polling places because of concerns about fraud with hundreds of thousands of newly registered voters in a state President Bush (news - web sites) and Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) both say they need to win. Democrats have accused the GOP of trying to suppress Democratic turnout.
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Old 11-02-04, 12:54 PM
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I didn't notice until now, but apparently, the 6th Circuit's decision was upheld by Supreme Court Justice Stevens this morning.
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Old 11-02-04, 01:00 PM
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Originally posted by Mad Dawg
I didn't notice until now, but apparently, the 6th Circuit's decision was upheld by Supreme Court Justice Stevens this morning.
Partial text of order by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens refusing to block election challengers in Ohio.


"While I have the power to grant the relief requested, I decline to do so for prudential reasons.

"Practical considerations, such as the difficulty of digesting all of the relevant filings and cases, and the challenge of properly reviewing all of the parties' submissions as a full Court in the limited timeframe available, weigh heavily against the granting the extraordinary type of relief requested here. Moreover, I have faith that the elected officials and numerous elections volunteers on the ground will carry out their responsibilities in a way that will enable qualified voters to cast their ballots.

Because of the importance of providing the parties with a prompt decision, I am simply denying the applications to vacate stays without referring them to the full Court."
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Old 11-02-04, 02:00 PM
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I agree that challengers would be intimidating ... which just goes right back to the whole ID issue.
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Old 11-02-04, 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by silentbob007
I agree that challengers would be intimidating ... which just goes right back to the whole ID issue.
Me, too. But this issue isn't so clear-cut that we can decide it in the span of a few minutes before issuing a restraining order.

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Old 11-02-04, 03:40 PM
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Originally posted by classicman2
They intervened.

They weren't required to hear the case.
Your previous use of the word "intervene" implied to me that you meant they unilaterally stepped in without being asked. Even if I was mistaken, your continued use of that word implies exactly that.

To be clear, the Supreme Court responded to a question regarding the constitutionality of action taken by the Florida Supreme Court to, in effect, make new rules regarding the method by which the recount could occur. That power is reserved to the legislative branch, and the action taken by the FSC was out of bounds. The SC did *not* step in until they were asked by a petitioner, therefore their "intervention" was in response to proper procedure.
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Old 11-02-04, 03:42 PM
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Originally posted by silentbob007
I agree that challengers would be intimidating ... which just goes right back to the whole ID issue.
Which ID issue?
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Old 11-02-04, 04:12 PM
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Originally posted by silentbob007
I agree that challengers would be intimidating ... which just goes right back to the whole ID issue.
I think be singled out for challenge would be more intimidating than a process in which everybody shows id.

Of course I have photo id, voter registration, and attitude.
"Challenge me, mofo, I'll show you intimidation."
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