DOJ, Bucking White House, Won’t Intervene in Ohio Voting Case

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October 30, 2008 9:09 a.m.

Looks like the most high-profile of the various Republican voter-suppression schemes is faring no better than many of the others.

The New York Times reports that the Department of Justice will not require Ohio’s Democratic secretary of state, Jennifer Brunner, to provide local election officials with lists of new voters who have mismatches in their registration information.

Late last week, in an unusual intervention, the White House had passed on a request by Republican House leader John Boehner that DOJ take action on the issue — triggering outrage from voting-rights groups. But according to the Times:

The Justice Department has been in contact with Ohio election officials since early October and this week its lawyers determined they would not pursue litigation before the election, according to the sources familiar with the discussions.

The state Republican party had sued to force Brunner to hand over the information. Voting-rights advocates feared that it could allow the Republicans to launch a slew of voter challenges at the polls, and the Supreme Court rejected the GOP bid earlier this month.

Still, the Ohio Republicans are trying to make maximum political hay out of the dispute. They released a radio ad earlier this week accusing Brunner of “concealing evidence.”

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