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High court rules in Ohio voter matter

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday the Ohio secretary of state didn't have to give county election boards lists of voters whose names don't match state data.

The unsigned opinion lifted a lower court order that would have required Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, among other things, to supply the lists Friday, Scotusblog.com said. The court vacated a judge's order, removing any legal obligation it included.

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The per curiam order said the Ohio Republican Party, as a private entity, couldn't ask the court to enforce provisions of the federal Help America Vote Act. Ohio Republicans wanted access to the data that could allow them to challenge voters' eligibility when they voted.

"We express no opinion on the question whether (the act) is being properly implemented," the opinion said.

State GOP officials argued that Brunner had to share with county election boards lists of voters whose names in a voter registration database didn't match the state's driver's license files.

"The justices did not disagree with our argument that Jennifer Brunner has failed to comply with federal election law," Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett said. "They merely said we don't have a right to bring a private challenge against her under this particular provision."

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Bennett repeated the party's call for Brunner "to comply with federal law by providing clear instructions to election administrators on how to handle questionable voter registration forms."

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