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Group Files Lawsuit Against Ohio Over Voting Rules

Jon Husted is Ohio's 53rd Secretary of State

In advance of the 2016 presidential race, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted faces another lawsuit over the state's voting rules. 

The lawsuit was filed by a group called the Ohio Organizing Collaborative.

Among the provisions it challenges are rules limiting each county to one early voting location, as well as the elimination of Golden Week, when voters can register and cast ballots the same day. The suit alleges African-American, Hispanic and student voters are disproportionately affected.

In a statement, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted suggested the suit carried a whiff of presidential politics.

“Ohioans don’t want politically motivated, legal lap dogs messing around in our elections,” Husted’s statement read. He noted one of the attorneys, whom he did not name, represents Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Marc Elias of law firm Perkins Coie, who is one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, is general counsel for Hillary for America.

In an email, Elias wrote his suit was on behalf of the parties named in the complaint—that is, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative and three voters.

“It is unfortunate that Secretary Husted chose to respond with a political attack rather than working to remedy the problems identified in our suit,” he wrote.

This is just the latest fight over voting rules for Husted. He was sued by the Obama campaign in advance of the 2012 election and settled a lawsuit with the NAACP and American Civil Liberties Union this year.