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Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless v. Blackwell

October 26, 2006

THE NORTHEAST OHIO COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS, ET AL. PLAINTIFFS,
v.
J. KENNETH BLACKWELL, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF STATE OF OHIO DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Algenon L. Marbley

TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

This matter came to be heard upon Plaintiffs' Motion seeking an order of the Court, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 65, temporarily restraining the enforcement of the following absentee voter identification provisions set forth in House Bill 3:

1. Section 3509.03(E)(1), (2) and (3), which provides:

(E) One of the following:

(1) The elector's driver's license number;

(2) The last four digits of the elector's social security number;

(3) A copy of the elector's current and valid photo identification, a copy of a military identification that shows the elector's name and current address, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document, other than a notice of an election mailed by a board of elections under section 3501.19 of the Revised Code or a notice of voter registration mailed by a board of elections under section 3503.19 of the Revised Code, that shows the name and address of the elector.

2. That portion of Section 3509.04 that provides:

(Voter must provide one of the following:)

My driver's license number is . . . . . (Driver's license number).

The last four digits of my Social Security Number are . . . (Last four digits of Social Security Number). . . . . In lieu of providing a driver's license number or the last four digits of my Social Security Number, I am enclosing a copy of one of the following in the return envelope in which this identification envelope will be mailed: a current and valid photo identification, a military identification that shows my name and current address, or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document, other than a notice of an election mailed by a board of elections under section 3501.19 of the Revised Code or a notice of voter registration mailed by a board of elections, that shows my name and address.

3. That portion of Section 3509.05(A) that provides: If the elector does not provide the elector's driver's license number or the last four digits of the elector's social security number on the statement of voter on the identification envelope, the elector also shall include in the return envelope with the identification envelope a copy of the elector's current valid photo identification, a copy of a military identification that shows the elector's name and current address, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government documents, other than a notice of an election mailed by a board of elections under section 3501.19 of the Revised Code or a notice of voter registration mailed by a board of elections under section 3503.19 of the Revised Code, that shows the name and address of the elector.

For the below stated reasons, this Court GRANTS the Plaintiffs' Motion.

As a threshold matter, the Court finds that the Plaintiffs have representational standing to bring this case on its own behalf and on behalf of its members. Miller v. Blackwell, 348 F.Supp.2d 916 (S.D. Ohio 2004). An association has standing to bring suit on behalf of its members when its members would otherwise have standing to sue in their own right, the interests at stake are germane to the organization's purpose, and neither the claim asserted nor the relief requested requires the participation of individual members in the lawsuit. Sandusky Co. Democratic Party v. Blackwell, 387 F.3d 565, 573 (6th Cir. 2004). The individual participation of an organization's members is "not normally necessary when an association seeks prospective or injunctive relief for its members." Id. at 574 (quoting United ...


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