En Banc Sixth Circuit Reinstates TRO in Ohio Election Case:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an order this evening reinstating the district court's TRO requiring Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to provide county election boards with state voter registration information so as to facilitate confirmation of registration information. Rick Hasen has details and initial thoughts here and here.

A majority of the en banc court has reinstated a TRO, which will require the Ohio Secretary of State to send along to county elections boards those names that are a "mismatch" between voter registration and Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle records. The TRO does not require, and the en banc court majority emphasizes, that a county board is not required upon hearing of the mismatch to remove eligible voters from the rolls. But the court does suggest (on page 9 of the pdf) that it would be the basis for not counting absentee ballots of voters flagged as a mismatch barring further investigation by the board. There may also be some boards that could try to require mismatched voters voting in person to cast provisional ballots. And it also appears that to the extent the mismatch lists are public, it will provide the potential basis for challenges by the ORP on election day (though I believe it is now harder to mount such challenges in Ohio than it was in 2004, when the ORP threatened to make 35,000 challenges at the polls.

The AP reports here.

The opinion is now available here. [Note: Link updated to reflect revised opinion Wed., Oct. 15 at 10AM]