Skip to main content

Emergency Supreme Court appeal filed in Ohio voters case

  • Story Highlights
  • Earlier ruling ordered list of newly registered Ohio voters with mismatched data
  • Ohio secretary of state asks U.S. high court to block that ruling
  • Republican Party contends voter fraud could help swing state towards Obama
  • Ruling called Ohio system "virtually useless" in trying to combat fraud
  • Next Article in Politics »
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Ohio's secretary of state on Thursday filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court in an ongoing dispute over verifying the identities of the state's newly registered voters.

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner filed the emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner filed the emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The appeal, from Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner -- a Democrat -- and other election officials follows a Tuesday ruling from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati that sided with the state GOP.

The ruling ordered Brunner to create a system by Friday to provide a list of newly registered voters whose Social Security numbers or driver's license numbers do not match their names.

The state Republican Party contends there is widespread voter fraud in Ohio -- a crucial battleground state for the 2008 presidential election -- and that Brunner "turned off" its process for verifying voter registrations while allowing Ohioans to cast ballots on the same day they registered.

State GOP Chairman Bob Bennett has accused Brunner of concealing fraudulent voter registrations in hopes of swinging the state to Sen. Barack Obama.

Brunner's office has acknowledged that preliminary information provided by about 200,000 registered voters may not match up. Brunner said Tuesday she had prepared for the appeals court's "possible adverse decision" ahead of time by announcing plans to "further improve the statewide voter registration database."

The appeals court opinion called Ohio's current system "virtually useless" and said it does "nothing to address the anti-fraud objective."

It was unclear when the high court might rule.

Brunner is asking the justices to stay the lower court ruling ordering setup of the new system. The matter would go first to Justice John Paul Stevens, who is likely to refer it to the full court.

CNN's Bill Mears contributed to this report.

All About Election FraudU.S. Presidential Election

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print