Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities

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Equal Vote
Tuesday, August 29
Naturalized Citizens Sue to Stop Ohio Challenge Law
Naturalized citizens and groups representing their interests brought a federal lawsuit today, challenging a new provision of Ohio's election law. The complaint in Boustani v. Blackwell (Case No. 1:06-cv-02065-CAB), challenges an amendment to Ohio's challenge law that was enacted as a part of House Bill 3 earlier this year. The ACLU's press release announcing the case may be found here.

The new provision (Ohio Rev. Code section 3505.20) requires naturalized citizens to produce a certificate of naturalization at the polling place, if their eligibility to vote is challenged. Those who are unable to do so are denied a regular ballot, and compelled to cast a provisional ballot. Those provisional ballots will only be counted if the challenged naturalized citizens provide proof of citizenship within 10 days.

I'm one of the attorneys on the case, along with the ACLU, Brennan Center, and Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. The plaintiffs are 18 naturalized citizens and community groups whose members include naturalized citizens.

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Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University