Ohio Dems. to sue over absentee-ballot bill

Ohio Statehouse
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s Democratic Party chairman says he expects the organization to file a federal lawsuit over an absentee-ballot measure passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

State Rep. Chris Redfern, the party’s chairman, says Democrats believe the measure violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection, along with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The bill would let the secretary of state mail unsolicited applications for general elections and only if the Legislature directed the money for it. Other public officials would be banned from sending the unsolicited applications. Ohio’s larger, urban counties traditionally have sent voters such applications.

Republican backers say the change helps achieve consistency across the swing state.

The measure passed Wednesday along with a separate bill to trim early voting. Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign them.

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