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Ohio: ACORN sues Blackwell for impeding voter registration

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports: A community-action agency that has clashed with Secretary of State Ken Blackwell over Ohio's new voter-registration rules is suing Blackwell, claiming he also failed to enforce the national "motor voter" law.

In a lawsuit to be filed this morning in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now and two public assistance recipients from Northeast Ohio accuse Blackwell and Barbara Riley, director of the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services, of failing to give thousands of low-income Ohioans the opportunity to register to vote.

While Elections officials in Iowa and North Carolina have worked with ACORN to improve voter registration, Blackwell has done little more than provide a toll-free number for human services directors to call when they run out of registration forms, said Lisa Danetz, an attorney at the National Voting Rights Institute who is handling the case. ...

Blackwell, the Republican candidate for governor, has been hounded by partisan claims that he has tried to disenfranchise poor, mostly Democratic voters. The lawsuit, whose other two plaintiffs are welfare recipients Carrie Harkless of Lorain and Tameca Mardis of Cleveland, piles on new charges, blaming Blackwell and Riley for low registration rates and the absence of registration forms at many county human services offices. -- Blackwell sued, accused of failing voter registrations

Note: A copy of the complaint is here. Thanks to Brenda Wright of NVRI for the tip and complaint.

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