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Election watch ~ US Supreme Court to rule on Nader PA ballot appeal

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court is expected to rule quickly on an application by Presidential candidate Ralph Nader to stay a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision barring him from the state ballots on Nov. 2. On Tuesday, the PA high court upheld a previous Commonwealth Court ruling on the matter. Justice David Souter has requested that state officials file their response to Nader's petition by 2:30 PM ET today, Friday. Nader is arguing that the PA court wrongly excluded about 15,000 signatures from his petition for ballot access. Read the original PA Commonwealth Court ruling here [PDF]. AP has more.... The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a constitutional amendment ban on same-sex marriage should appear on ballots in the state for the Nov. 2 election. In a 6-1 ruling Thursday, the court held that procedural challenges to the referendum by gay rights groups were not made by the September deadline. Read the full opinion [PDF]. The Toledo Blade has more.... The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has established a statewide task force to deal with complaints of voting fraud, which it has already received in six counties. A department spokesman said most of the problems were tied to registration forms turned in by get-out-the-vote groups hire people to register voters. Read a press release on the announcement. The Tallahassee Democrat has more. .... Michigan election officials have expressed concern that a federal court ruling that provisional ballots need only be cast in the voter's home county rather than home precinct for their votes on federal offices to count could confuse voters. Michigan officials said voters may believe their entire ballot would count in such a situation, but votes for state officials would not be counted. They are appealing the Tuesday ruling [PDF] by District Judge David Lawson. More on voting in Michigan is available from the Secretary of State. AP has more.... A federal district judge in Florida has ruled that provisional ballots not cast in a voter's home precinct should not be counted. The ruling, made Thursday, reached the same result as the Florida Supreme Court earlier this week. State Democrats had challenged the restriction, arguing that it would disenfranchise voters who did not know the correct precinct to go to. AP has more.

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