Ohio’s elections chief appeals judgment on ballot rules

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s elections chief is appealing a ruling from a federal judge that blocks the swing state from enforcing certain ballot requirements.

At issue are changes to absentee- and provisional-ballot voting procedures passed by the Republican-led state legislature in 2014.

Advocates for the homeless and the Ohio Democratic Party sued Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO’-sted) over the changes, saying otherwise qualified voters were having their ballots rejected. They said the changes created hurdles for voters, particularly minorities.

The state unsuccessfully argued the challenged laws are nondiscriminatory and impose a minimal burden.

A federal court judge ruled Tuesday the procedures were unconstitutional and blocked Husted from enforcing them.

Husted says that decision conflicts with a separate court ruling, putting the elections process in limbo absent an appeals court ruling.

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