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In trying to close a brief window that will allow simultaneous voter registration and absentee voting, Ohio Republicans are engaging in "blatant voter suppression," a leading legal expert on voting said yesterday.
"This is exactly what the law says and what it allows," said Daniel Tokaji, a professor at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. "If the Republicans are trying to close the window, they would be violating the law they wrote."
Tokaji, a frequent critic of Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, said she is "absolutely right on this one. ... It could be the best thing she's done in office."
Partisan battle lines are being drawn over Brunner's directive to county boards of elections, clarifying that state law allows a five-day overlap during which Ohioans can register to vote and vote by absentee ballot at the same time.
The "no-fault absentee" voting law has been in place since 2005, when it was passed by the Republican-controlled General Assembly and signed by GOP Gov. Bob Taft.