State of Ohio

Ohio Election Observers and Tabulating Machines Challenge

Maras v. LaRose

Lawsuit filed by Ohio secretary of state candidate and election denier Terpsehore Maras (I) against Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) challenging a provision of an Ohio law that pertains to the appointment of partisan election observers. Specifically, the plaintiff alleges that the law violates the Ohio Constitution because it requires independent candidates — those who are not affiliated with a particular political party — to join with four other candidates to collectively appoint an election observer of their choice. The plaintiff contends that this law is “unconstitutional for violation of the [E]qual [P]rotection [C]lauses of the United States and Ohio [C]onstitutions to the extent that it prevents certified non-party affiliated candidates from appointing election observers of their own accord.” Additionally, the plaintiff asserts that the secretary of state is violating a separate provision of Ohio law that permits election observers to “observe and inspect” voting and counting throughout the state. Maras argues that LaRose “is not in compliance with such requirement[s] as he has authorized every county in the State of Ohio to use electronic vote automatic tabulating equipment which legally appointed observers cannot access and cannot meaningfully observe or inspect.” The plaintiff requests that the Ohio Supreme Court issue a writ of mandamus (a court order compelling a party to take a certain action) that requires LaRose to “Comply with Ohio and federal law.” The plaintiff also asks the court to declare the challenged law regarding election observers in violation of the Ohio Constitution and to allow election observers to “meaningfully inspect” automatic tabulating machines in order to prevent voter and election “fraud.” On Oct. 28, the Ohio Supreme Court issued an opinion denying the petitioners’ request for a writ of mandamus.

Case Documents

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