Appeals court: Precise standard for Ohio ballots a burden

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal appeals court has blocked rules requiring precise completion of thousands of absentee ballots in swing state Ohio, but upheld other challenged election-law changes as legal and not unduly burdensome.

At issue were several changes on absentee and provisional ballot requirements Ohio's Republican-led legislature passed in 2014.

Advocates for the homeless and the Ohio Democratic Party sued Ohio's elections chief over the changes. They claimed ballot rules create new hurdles for voters, particularly minorities, so were unconstitutional.

Attorneys for Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO'-sted) argued the challenged laws are reasonable, nondiscriminatory and impose minimal burden on voters.

The appeals court on Tuesday affirmed the ruling of a lower court rejecting absentee-ballot requirements for birthdate and address entries. It disagreed other changes were burdensome or disparately affected minorities.
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