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Homeless coalitions appeal to entire federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in challenge to Ohio's perfect-form requirements for absentee and provisional ballots

CLEVELAND, OHIO - Today, the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, Columbus Coalition for the Homeless, joined by the Ohio Democratic Party, plaintiffs in a voting-rights lawsuit against Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine, sought to have all fifteen judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit hear their challenge against Ohio voting laws known as S.B. 205 and S.B. 216. The laws require throwing out absentee and provisional ballots on trivial technical errors on ballot forms-even where elections boards do not otherwise question voters' identity and eligibility.

In June 2016, federal District Judge Algenon Marbley, of the Southern District of Ohio, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs' claims that the laws violated the Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection as well as the Voting Rights Act. The judge found that the laws burden the fundamental right to vote without a sufficient state interest, and that the laws disproportionately impact African-American voters.

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