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Top Ohio Elections Official Accuses Critics Of "Trying To Introduce Chaos"

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted is battling Democrats over a provisional voting form dispute. “We want the voter to do this so … that their vote will be counted,” Husted says. “What we’re talking about are a handful of ballots in the big scheme of things.”

Ohio’s chief election official, under fire from the left for the way he’s handling provisional ballots cast in the Buckeye State, defended his election administration efforts on Sunday evening, saying that accusations of suppression are “absurd.”

CNN’s Don Lemon asked Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, point-blank whether he’s trying to “suppress the vote for the Democratic Party, for minorities, for people in urban areas.”

Husted said, “That’s just an absurd notion. The rules are the same for everybody. They don’t target any one group or individual.”

He also took aim at his critics on the left, saying, “I didn’t file the 11th-hour lawsuits. These are the rules. These are the rules the way they have been. There are a lot of folks who are trying to introduce chaos into this so that they can literally have a cause for litigating post-election in case it’s close.”

Husted defended his office’s decision to issue a directive on Friday that would appear to order county election boards to reject provisional ballots where a voter did not correctly note which form of ID the individual provided to the poll worker. In a pending case, those challenging the order say that Ohio law requires the poll worker to make such a notation.

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Chris Geidner is the legal editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. In 2014, Geidner won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association award for journalist of the year.
Contact Chris Geidner at chris.geidner@buzzfeed.com
 
 
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