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Thursday, July 06, 2006 

Blackwell's Anti-Voting tirades will be challenged

From The Plain Dealer -
The suit will request an injunction, claiming a reform law passed by the General Assembly last year, followed by rules Blackwell's office drafted, have all but ended the groups' voter-registration activities in Ohio.

"At this point, the effects are chilling," said Donita Judge, a staff attorney at the Advancement Project, a Washington-based voter-education group, and co-counsel in the suit being filed in Cleveland. "It's just killed voter registration," she added, resulting in an all-but-certain "dilution of the minority vote." ...

The lawsuit will claim that the registration and training requirements violate the free-speech rights of low-paid registrars by burdening them with the responsibility of personally returning registration cards and imposing potential felony penalties for failing to do so.

It also will claim that Ohio's attempt to impose an "anti-bundling" policy violates the intent of the National Voter Registration Act, which was to increase voter participation.

Judge said the effects of the law and rules disproportionately affect voter-registration drives in minority communities, where many residents don't have transportation, lack the technological skills to register on-line and are, in some cases, "functionally illiterate."
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