Final Arguments Being Made in Dispute Over Ballots in Ohio

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The state’s elections chief and advocates for the homeless are making their final arguments in a federal lawsuit that could impact how thousands of ballots are cast and counted in swing state Ohio.

At issue in the case are several changes to the requirements for absentee or provisional ballots that the state legislature passed in 2014.

Both the advocates and the Ohio Democratic Party claim the laws and procedures for counting such ballots create new hurdles for voters, particularly minorities, in violation of their constitutional rights. They are suing Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted over the changes.

Husted’s attorneys say the challenged laws are reasonable, nondiscriminatory and impose a minimal burden on voters.

The two sides reiterated their arguments and findings in court filings last Thursday.