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Federal appeals court reinstates Ohio absentee voter ID law

[JURIST] Absentee Ohio voters must continue to show proof of ID when casting ballots after a federal appeals court on Sunday stayed [PDF text] a lower court order [JURIST report], handed down last week, that would have temporarily suspended Ohio's voter ID law [Ohio SOS backgrounder]. The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [court website] granted Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro's request for a stay the case, meaning that the temporary restraining order [PDF text] issued by the district court is effectively overruled.

Under the law, absentee voters must provide a driver's license number, the last four digits of their Social Security number or a copy of a current photo ID, military identification, utility bill or bank statement. Absentee balloting is now underway in Ohio, but votes will not be counted until election day so no ballots have yet been discarded. Lawyers for the plaintiffs, who challenged the law on the grounds that Ohio's 88 counties are applying the law unequally by having different ID requirements, have said they will appeal the appeals court ruling to the US Supreme Court. Moritz's Election Law Center has case documents for NEOCH v. Blackwell. AP has more. The Columbus Dispatch has local coverage.

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