Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Court fights may be over for Ohio voter registration verifications

David Myhal, the individual who had filed a court case with the Ohio Supreme Court after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Ohio Republican Party had no standing, has dropped his case against Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner over the provisions of the Help America Vote Act.

He did so at the request of Ohio GOP chairman Bob Bennett, who issued the following statement:

"We didn't file this lawsuit, but I've asked that it be withdrawn in the interest of negotiating a solution out of court. The legal wrangling on this issue has gone on long enough. Two courts and ten judges have made it abundantly clear that Secretary Brunner is not in compliance with federal law and she has a legal obligation to provide an adequate system of validating questionable registrations.

Secretary Brunner indicated last week that she would comply with the district court's order to assist election administrators in that process. I have reached out to Attorney General Nancy Rogers to begin a dialogue on achieving that objective. While she understandably could not make any guarantees, we have agreed to meet on Wednesday to begin discussions in good faith. I'm hopeful that we can work together on a solution that will give Ohioans greater confidence in the integrity of this election."

This may be a positive step, and the lack of court cases may result in a positive outcome for voter confidence in Ohio's system.

However, this may not be the last word on the issue as a majority of Republican Congress members from Ohio have asked U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and the Justice Department to get involved to force Brunner to make the checks on mismatched registration information.

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