Project Vote v. Madison County Board of Elections, No. 1:08-cv-02266 (N.D. Ohio) was filed on September 24, 2008 on behalf of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH), 1Matters, Project Vote and two individual voters. The lawsuit was necessary because the Madison County Board of Elections had announced on September 5, 2008 that it would disregard Secretary Brunner’s directives and not issue an absentee ballot to anyone who has not already been registered for thirty days.
On September 29, 2008, Judge James S. Gwin found that by disregarding Secretary Brunner’s directives, Madison County would violate Section 202 of the Voting Rights Act, that without an injunction there would be irreparable injury to registered voters who will be unable to receive absentee ballots, and that the public interest favors the injunction. Judge Gwin issued a temporary restraining order directing Madison County to comply with directives issued by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. Secretary Brunner’s directives instructed Ohio counties to make simultaneous voter registration and absentee voting available during an upcoming five-day window between the opening of absentee voting on September 30, 2008 and the close of voter registration on October 6, 2008.
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