Nine teens file lawsuit against Jon Husted over voting rights

Husted said 17-year-olds can cast a vote on some candidates, even in congressional races, because that is not a direct vote for a candidate or delegate

Voters cast their ballot at the athletic wing of Orange High School, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Moreland Hills, Ohio. (WCMH)
Courtesy: WCMH

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–A group of 17-year-olds is asking the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas to issue a restraining order and a permanent injunction against Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who has said they will not be able to vote for president in the Ohio primary.

Husted said 17-year-olds can cast a vote on some candidates, even in congressional races, because that is not a direct vote for a candidate or delegate.

They will be barred in Ohio from voting for a presidential nominee, or on issues like school levies. As Husted puts it, only people 18 years old or older can directly vote for delegates and issues.

Nine 17-year-olds, who  will be 18 by the time of the general election, are listed as plaintiffs. They are asking the court to declare the Ohio Election Official Manual’s rule excluding them from voting invalid, saying that it violates a section of the Ohio Revised Code.

The plaintiffs are asking for a decision to be issued and sent to all county boards of elections by 12 p.m. on Friday, March 11 by email.

They are also asking for attorneys’ fees and costs.

Rachel Bloomekatz is the attorney who submitted the case with Jon Sherman of the Fair Elections Legal Network in Washington.

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