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Ohio's election-related lawsuits

AP reports: After the 2000 presidential election mess in Florida, many political watchers predicted that lawyers would take on a larger role in this year's election.

They're off to an early start in Ohio. No fewer than five major election cases landed before courts in Ohio - all at least one month before the Nov. 2 election.

While court challenges of election law are common in the weeks before the election, the number of high-profile cases to reach court is unusual, said Herb Asher, a political scientist at Ohio State University who has followed Ohio elections for more than 30 years.

The Ohio Supreme Court has two challenges before it. A constitutional ban on gay marriages that is to go before voters Nov. 2 should be removed, opponents say, because the petitions circulated to collect the signatures to get on the ballot did not include a summary of what the amendment would do. An appeals court has upheld the ballot issue.

Backers of independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader have appealed to the high court a ruling by Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell that some petition circulators illegally collected the signatures. The ruling meant Nader's bid fell short of the required 5,000 signatures of registered Ohio voters. -- PERSPECTIVE: Dockets crowded with election cases (AP via TheState.com)