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Case Name Service Employees International Union, Local #1 v. Husted VR-OH-0080
Docket / Court 2:12-cv-00562-ALM-TPK ( S.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Case Summary
This litigation involves two related cases filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The lead case was filed on June 22, 2012, by a number of unions, including Service Employees International Union Local 1 (SEIU), against the State of Ohio challenging several provisions of ... read more >
This litigation involves two related cases filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The lead case was filed on June 22, 2012, by a number of unions, including Service Employees International Union Local 1 (SEIU), against the State of Ohio challenging several provisions of Ohio's election code. The related case, Ne. Ohio Coal. for the Homeless v. Husted, VR-OH-0081 had been filed in 2006 by the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) and others, challenging numerous provisions of Ohio's comprehensive election reform bill, House Bill 3.

Specifically, the NEOCH Plaintiffs alleged that Ohio's amended voter identification requirements violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The NEOCH lawsuit was partially resolved by an April 2010 Consent Decree, which barred rejection of a provisional ballot cast by a voter who uses only the last four digits of his or her social security number as identification (SSN-voters), if poll-worker error was the source of certain deficiencies in the ballot, including being cast in the wrong precinct though in the correct polling place. Early in 2012, the State sought to vacate the NEOCH Decree's terms. However, plaintiffs objected and the Court upheld the validity of the Decree. NEOCH, No. 06-CV-896, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94086 (S.D. Ohio July 9, 2012). During the pendency of the Defendants' request to vacate the decree, on June 20, 2012, the NEOCH plaintiffs filed a motion to modify the Decree. On June 22, 2012, numerous organizations filed the SEIU litigation, seeking a statewide injunction requiring that registered voters' provisional ballots which are cast in the wrong precinct, or cast with technically deficient ballot envelopes, still be counted unless the poll worker who processed the deficient ballot affirms that the ballot deficiency is not the result of poll-worker error. The SEIU plaintiffs, here, simultaneously sought a preliminary injunction. The complaint alleged, inter alia, violations of the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses.

Ohio's complex voter identification requirements, provide thirteen different statutory reasons why an individual will be required to cast a provisional ballot on election day. See Ohio Rev. Code § 3505.181(A)(1)-(13). The result is a high rate of Ohio voters forced to cast provisional ballots rather than normal ballots--around three times the national average. The Ohio Supreme Court held in 2011 that provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct must be summarily disqualified, even if the voter was not at fault, and even if the Board determines that the voter is lawfully registered to vote. State ex rel. Painter v. Brunner, 941 N.E.2d 782, 794 (Ohio 2011). The current application of Ohio law voids the vote even of a person directed to the wrong precinct by a poll worker.

The district court (Judge Algenon Marbley) held a hearing on SEIU's request for a preliminary injunction on June 30, 2012. On August 27, 2012, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and entered a preliminary injunction instructing the state to count provisional ballots that, due to poll-worker error, were cast (1) in the wrong precinct but correct polling place, or (2) with nonconforming or incomplete ballot affirmation. The district court relied heavily on an earlier 6th Circuit case, in which the Court of Appeals had upheld a preliminary injunction ordering the counting of provisional ballots that investigation had revealed were cast in the wrong precinct due to poll-worker error. Hunter v. Hamilton Cnty. Bd. of Elections, 635 F.3d 219 (6th Cir. 2011). The State appealed.

On October 11, 2012, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the preliminary injunction as to the provisional ballots cast at the right polling place but the wrong precinct, but reversed on the smaller issue of the provisional ballots whose voter's affirmation was somehow deficient. Ohio Coal. for Homeless v. Husted, 696 F.3d 580 (6th Cir. 2012). It remanded the case to address the plaintiffs' motion to modify the consent decree in light of the equal protection issues created by the decree's provision for the counting of deficient-affirmation ballots by SSN-4 voters

On October 26, 2012, District Court Judge Marbly granted plaintiffs' motion to modify the consent decree and order county boards of elections to count all provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct, irrespective of whether they are cast in the correct polling place or an incorrect polling place. Serv. Employees Int'l Union, Local 1 v. Husted, 906 F. Supp. 2d 745 (S.D. Ohio 2012). The court further stated that to treat deficient affirmation ballots differently for SSN-4 voters would deny equal protection to those provisional voters using alternative forms of identification. On November 13, the District Court entered an order clarifying this ruling.

On January 14, 2014, the parties entered into a confidential agreement that would lead to a complete settlement if the court were to vacate its clarifying ruling made on November 13, 2012. The District Court vacated the clarifying order on February 7, 2014. The case is on going as of October 22, 2014, as the parties address attorneys' fees and costs.

Richard Jolly - 10/22/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Voting
Voting access
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Voting
Election administration
Voter id
Causes of Action Help America Vote Act (HAVA), 42 U.S.C. § 15301 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Ohio Secretary of State
Plaintiff Description A number of unions, with several individuals intervening. Consolidated with a case filed by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and others
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2012 - 2016
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing VR-OH-0081 : Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless v. Husted (S.D. Ohio)
Docket(s)
2:12-cv-00562-ALM-TPK (S.D. Ohio) 09/29/2014
VR-OH-0080-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory Relief and Injunctive Relief: Class Action 06/22/2012
VR-OH-0080-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction; Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [and Supporting Declarations] 06/22/2012
VR-OH-0080-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Relating Cases and Appearance of New Counsel 06/26/2012 (S.D. Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0021 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Certification of Defendant Class; Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiff's Motion for Certification of Defendant Class 06/29/2012
VR-OH-0080-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory Relief and Injunctive Relief 07/13/2012
VR-OH-0080-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 07/24/2012
VR-OH-0080-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plenary Opinion and Order 08/27/2012 (2012 WL 3643064) (S.D. Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0006 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio at Columbus 10/11/2012 (696 F.3d 580)
VR-OH-0080-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Opinion [Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio at Columbus] 10/11/2012
VR-OH-0080-0022 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Renewed Motion for Preliminary Injunction with Respect to Wrong-Location Provisional Ballots; Memorandum of Law in Support 10/17/2012
VR-OH-0080-0016 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order 10/26/2012 (S.D. Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0009 PDF | Detail
Opinion 10/31/2012 (698 F.3d 341)
VR-OH-0080-0008 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Plaintiffs’ Emergency Motion for Clarification of October 26, 2012 Order Regarding Scope of Section III(5)(b)(vii) of the Consent Decree 11/01/2012
VR-OH-0080-0010 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
NEOCH Plaintiffs’ Emergency Motion for Clarification and for Modification of Consent Decree; SEIU Local 1 Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction; Memorandum of Law in Support Thereof 11/04/2012
VR-OH-0080-0011 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 11/05/2012 (S.D. Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0017 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants’ Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Emergency Motions for Clarification [NEOCH Doc. 346 and 349 and SEIU doc. 97] 11/06/2012
VR-OH-0080-0012 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Transcript of Motion for Preliminary Injunction Proceedings 11/07/2012
VR-OH-0080-0013 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs’ Reply Brief in Support of Emergency Motions for Clarification and for Modification of October 26, 2012 Order Regarding Scope of Section III(5)(b)(vii) of the Consent Decree 11/08/2012
VR-OH-0080-0014 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order 11/13/2012 (S.D. Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0015 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Vacating Previous Order] 07/09/2013 (2013 WL 3456756) (S.D. Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0018 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Dismissing Appeal as Moot] 09/27/2013 (531 Fed.Appx. 755)
VR-OH-0080-0019 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [To vacate previous ruling from 11.13.12] 01/31/2014 (S.D. Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0023 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Vacating 2012 Opinion and Order] 02/07/2014 (S.D. Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0020 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Cook, Deborah L. (Sixth Circuit)
VR-OH-0080-0007 | VR-OH-0080-0008 | VR-OH-0080-0019 | VR-OH-0080-0022
Gibbons, Kevin Court not on record
VR-OH-0080-0007 | VR-OH-0080-0008 | VR-OH-0080-0019 | VR-OH-0080-0022
Kemp, Terence Peter (S.D. Ohio) [Magistrate]
VR-OH-0080-9000
Marbley, Algenon L. (S.D. Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0006 | VR-OH-0080-0009 | VR-OH-0080-0015 | VR-OH-0080-0017 | VR-OH-0080-0018 | VR-OH-0080-0020 | VR-OH-0080-0021 | VR-OH-0080-0023 | VR-OH-0080-9000
Rosenthal, Joseph Norbert Court not on record
VR-OH-0080-0007 | VR-OH-0080-0008 | VR-OH-0080-0019 | VR-OH-0080-0022
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Berzon, Stephen P. (California)
VR-OH-0080-0001 | VR-OH-0080-0003 | VR-OH-0080-0004 | VR-OH-0080-0005 | VR-OH-0080-0010 | VR-OH-0080-0011 | VR-OH-0080-0014 | VR-OH-0080-0016 | VR-OH-0080-9000
Chandra, Subodh (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0010 | VR-OH-0080-0011 | VR-OH-0080-0014
Chisholm, Barbara J. (California)
VR-OH-0080-0001 | VR-OH-0080-0003 | VR-OH-0080-0004 | VR-OH-0080-0005 | VR-OH-0080-0010 | VR-OH-0080-0011 | VR-OH-0080-0014 | VR-OH-0080-0016 | VR-OH-0080-9000
Gentry, Caroline (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0010 | VR-OH-0080-0011 | VR-OH-0080-0014
Hair, Penda D. (District of Columbia)
VR-OH-0080-0001 | VR-OH-0080-0003 | VR-OH-0080-0005 | VR-OH-0080-0011 | VR-OH-0080-0016 | VR-OH-0080-9000
Harshman, Cathrine J. (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0001 | VR-OH-0080-0002 | VR-OH-0080-0003 | VR-OH-0080-0005 | VR-OH-0080-0010 | VR-OH-0080-0011 | VR-OH-0080-0014 | VR-OH-0080-0016 | VR-OH-0080-9000
Hunter, Michael J. (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0001 | VR-OH-0080-0002 | VR-OH-0080-0003 | VR-OH-0080-0005 | VR-OH-0080-0010 | VR-OH-0080-0011 | VR-OH-0080-0014 | VR-OH-0080-0016 | VR-OH-0080-9000 | VR-OH-0080-9000
Judge, Donita (District of Columbia)
VR-OH-0080-0001 | VR-OH-0080-0003 | VR-OH-0080-0005 | VR-OH-0080-0011 | VR-OH-0080-0016 | VR-OH-0080-9000
Leonard, Danielle E. (California)
VR-OH-0080-0001 | VR-OH-0080-0003 | VR-OH-0080-0004 | VR-OH-0080-0005 | VR-OH-0080-0010 | VR-OH-0080-0011 | VR-OH-0080-0014 | VR-OH-0080-0016 | VR-OH-0080-9000
Leyton, Stacey M. (California)
VR-OH-0080-0001 | VR-OH-0080-0003 | VR-OH-0080-0004 | VR-OH-0080-0005 | VR-OH-0080-0010 | VR-OH-0080-0011 | VR-OH-0080-0014 | VR-OH-0080-0016 | VR-OH-0080-9000
McGinnis, Mark A. (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0010 | VR-OH-0080-0011 | VR-OH-0080-0014
McTigue, Donald Joseph (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0010 | VR-OH-0080-0011 | VR-OH-0080-0014
Miller, Daniel B (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0010 | VR-OH-0080-0011 | VR-OH-0080-0014
Nkwonta, Uzoma (District of Columbia)
VR-OH-0080-0001 | VR-OH-0080-0003 | VR-OH-0080-0005 | VR-OH-0080-0016 | VR-OH-0080-9000
Screen, Donald P. (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0014
Sletvold, Ashlie Case (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0014
Defendant's Lawyers Butcher-Lyden, Erin (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0012 | VR-OH-0080-9000
Coglianese, Richard N. (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0012 | VR-OH-0080-9000
DeWine, Michael (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0012
Epstein, Aaron D. (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-0012 | VR-OH-0080-9000
Keller, Zachary Paul (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-9000
Lambert, David Gregory (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-9000
McCafferty, Colleen Marie (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-9000
Shook, Kevin (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-9000
Soulas, Nick A. Jr. (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-9000
Stevenson, David T. (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-9000
Other Lawyers Boatwright, Joseph W. IV (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-9000
Lewis, Patrick T (Ohio)
VR-OH-0080-9000

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