Best Of 2021

Best Lawsuit to Prevent Absentee Ballots from Being Rejected: filed an injunction against Secretary of State Frank LaRose to make sure that voters have “the opportunity, and sufficient time, to correct their mismatched signatures when boards of elections mistakenly reject their ballots and ballot applications on th

Despite the fact mail is a proven and effective method of casting a vote (if not one that takes seemingly forever to tally), several concerns cropped up as millions of Americans took to the post-office box instead of the ballot box this presidential election as a result of the pandemic. There was a cluster of controversies around the U.S. Postal Service and the thorny question of whether its services were being crippled; concerns about equity; and at least one lawsuit calling out Ohio’s system that requires the signatures on absentee ballots match those on absentee ballot applications. In August, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Ohio and Covington & Burlington LLP filed an injunction against Secretary of State Frank LaRose to make sure that voters have “the opportunity, and sufficient time, to correct their mismatched signatures when boards of elections mistakenly reject their ballots and ballot applications on the basis of signature mismatches.” Jen Miller, executive director of the Ohio League of Women Voters, said, “Ohio’s unscientific signature matching processes create unfair electoral barriers, especially for senior citizens, youth, and voters with disabilities. Ohio needs to institute a transparent notice and cure process so voters can be assured their votes will count.” A federal judge said that while the signature verification process is burdensome, it wasn’t enough to change it before Nov. 3.