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Election watch ~ OH, NJ voter challenge rulings expected Monday

[JURIST] Federal judges in Ohio and New Jersey are expected to rule Monday on whether voter challenges can be raised at the polls. Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is seeking to prevent voter challenges in his state because they are primarily targeted at polling locations that serve poor and African American citizens. Blackwell, a Republican, broke from his party's view, fearing that such challenges may violate the Voting Rights Act. The challenges were announced by the state GOP after court rulings Wednesday and Friday pre-empted pre-election hearings to challenge thousands of voters that the party alleged were on the rolls improperly. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has more. In New Jersey, meanwhile, US District Judge Dickinson Debevoise is set to rule on whether voter challenges nationwide might contravene a 1982 New Jeresy consent decree in which the Republican National Committee agreed not to engage in "ballot security activities ... where racial or ethnic composition" was a factor.... The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has decided to postpone investigations into allegations made by Republicans that nearly 1,000 convicted felons who have not had voting rights restored illegally requested absentee ballots or voted early. Florida is one of several states that permanently bars felons from voting unless they participate in a lengthy reinstatement process. The FDLE provides information about voter registration and reinstatement here. The New York Times has more.

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