Sanders Campaign Statement on Ohio Voting Rights Case

vote bernie 16In Ohio, the State’s elections chief had determined that 17-year olds could not vote at a primary, even if they would be 18 by the general election.

A Franklin County court granted teen’s request to block that determination.

Bernie Sanders campaign, responsible for bring the suit, issued the following statement in a press release:

Brad Deutsch, attorney for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign, issued the following statement after Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Frye on Friday afternoon ruled that Secretary of State Jon Husted had “abused his discretion” when he issued a directive saying 17-year-olds could not cast a ballot in the presidential race:

“This is a huge victory for 17-year-olds across Ohio. Their votes for presidential nominees will now count when they vote on either Tuesday or over the weekend in early voting.”

“The judge ruled, as a matter of law, that 17-year-olds otherwise qualified to vote (i.e., who will be 18 before the General in November) are entitled to have their choices for presidential nominees counted in the March 15, 2016 primary election.”

“The judge further admonished the Secretary of State for abusing his discretion by prohibiting 17-year-olds from voting for presidential candidates and not only directed the Secretary to instruct poll worker to allow 17-year-olds to vote but also instructed them to make a reasonable effort to attempt to determine and record choices that have already been made by any 17-year-old who already voted in early voting.”

Husted, the elections official in the case stated:

“I believe that Ohio law is clear and that my office has properly administered the law, just as previous Democrat and Republican Secretaries of State over the last two decades have done.

“However, upon learning that the 10th District Court of Appeals does not plan to hear an appeal on the lower court’s decision until the day before the election, even if we were to prevail, there is no effective way to responsibly make the changes necessary to implement an orderly election.

“Our elections system needs more stability and less chaos. This last minute legislating from the bench on election law has to stop.

“As a result, we will not proceed with an appeal on this decision and I will direct all county boards of elections later this evening to comply with the court order.”

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