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Judge Rules On Ohio’s Photo ID Election Law

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A federal judge has ruled that Ohio’s strict voter ID law, which includes a photo provision, is constitutional and has rejected a challenge to it. The ruling has dismissed a complaint filed by a Democratic law firm that was challenging provisions including a photo ID, “drop box restrictions, and tightened deadlines related to absentee and provisional ballots.”

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent, a Clinton appointee, found that the Ohio photo ID requirement, in particular, “imposes no more than a minimal burden, if any, for the vast majority of voters.”

The report added: “Nugent also rejected the other claims asserted by the Elias Law Group, whose suit filed last year on behalf of groups representing military veterans, teachers, retirees, and the homeless argued the law imposed ‘needless and discriminatory burdens’ on the right to vote. The suit was filed the same day Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed the legislation over the objections of voting rights, labor, environmental, and civil rights groups that had been pleading for a veto.”

The judge stated that voters do not have a constitutional right to access mail-in or early voting options. He also noted that Ohio’s updated schedule for obtaining and submitting absentee ballots is still more accommodating than in 30 other states.

He pointed out that the argument claiming that limiting ballot drop boxes to one location has a negative impact on voters is not accurate as the law implementing the single-drop box restriction was first used in 2023. However, it’s important to note that the provision was enacted by the GOP-controlled legislature after years of contentious debate on the matter.

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Prior to the 2020 election, three different courts criticized Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose for his order that established the single-box restriction, calling it unreasonable and arbitrary.

Democras and voting rights organizations had pushed for the installation of multiple drop boxes, particularly in densely populated counties, to make voting easier during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, Democrats filed a lawsuit, and a state appellate court ultimately ruled that Secretary of State Frank LaRose had the authority to increase the number of drop boxes without seeking additional legislative approval, although he was not obligated to do so. The 2023 law addressed the matter for the first time by formalizing the single-box restriction.

However, Nuget stated that opponents of the law did not make a persuasive case.

A new poll is potentially devastating for Democrats ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

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A recent survey by Suffolk University/USA Today revealed that almost one-third of voters are more likely to support former President Donald Trump after the first presidential debate. Additionally, most respondents believe that Democrats should consider replacing President Joe Biden as their nominee.

While 51% of voters believe Trump should be replaced as the Republican nominee, dissatisfaction with Biden is more apparent, especially among Democrats. Over 40% of Democrats think Biden should be replaced after his debate performance.

Trump’s support base is stronger in comparison. Only 14% of Republicans and 12% of Trump supporters think the GOP should consider a different candidate. In addition, the debate appeared to bolster Trump’s position, as 31% of respondents said his performance made them more likely to support him, the survey found.

On the contrary, only 10% of all voters reported that Biden’s debate performance raised their likelihood of voting for him, while 9% stated that the debate made them more likely to support a third-party candidate. Biden’s critics emphasized worries about his mental acuity, with opponents using words such as “confused” and “incoherent” to characterize his performance.

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At the same time, those supporting Trump used descriptors such as “coherent” and “articulate” in praise of him.

“The findings, taken three days after the [June 27] debate, underscore the significant challenge for the Biden campaign as it tries to recover and put this debate behind them amid calls for the president to withdraw,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.

The survey also found that, by a 5-to-1 margin, voters from both parties say Trump won the debate.

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