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Ohio


FitzGerald urges Cuyahoga County to fight new state voting limits
He wants the county continue sending out absentee ballot applications to all voters
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
Cohen says FitzGerald has a lot of motivation to fight the GOP-backed limits.
Courtesy of University of Akron
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The head of Ohio’s biggest county – and a Democratic candidate for governor – is challenging a new state law cutting back on early voting. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on a move that’s likely to end up in court.

LISTEN: A likely court fight is brewing

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Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald is asking county council to ensure all registered voters in the county continue to automatically get absentee ballot applications in the mail. That’s forbidden by a GOP-backed law the governor signed last week. It says no one but the secretary of state can send the unsolicited applications – and he can only do it if lawmakers give him the money and OK. 

David Cohen is with the Bliss Institute at the University of Akron, which completed a study in 2010 confirming early and absentee voters are more likely to lean Democratic. Cohen says FitzGerald has concerns at several levels. 

“FitzGerald clearly feels that the state has gone too far. And let’s face it: This is an important move for his political campaign for governor as well. He needs a lot of the voters that will be affected by this new law. He needs them to get out to the polls and any diminishment of their ability to go out and vote is going to hurt his chances.” 

If Cuyahoga Council goes along with the proposal to continue sending the absentee ballot applications, Cohen predicts Cuyahoga and the new state law are heading to court. He’s uncertain if that will be at the state or federal level, or if the argument will be resolved by the November election.

 

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