Ohio elections chief denies GOP ballot claims

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio's elections chief is defending his decision to require county election boards to follow a federal court decree instead of state law when it comes to counting provisional ballots.

At issue are requirements for providing identification when a voter has to cast a provisional ballot, typically a ballot cast in the wrong precinct.

Ohio House and Senate Republicans have sued Secretary of State Jon Husted in the Ohio Supreme Court, saying his action is unconstitutional because the elections board requirement violates the separation of powers doctrine.

Husted, a Republican, argues he is required to follow the federal court's order and says the Supreme Court doesn't have proper jurisdiction.

In general, state law is more restrictive than the federal decree when it comes to prohibiting provisional ballots.