Ohio governor signs 2 contentious election bills

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) has signed into law two election-related bills heavily criticized by Democrats.

One bill trims early voting in the battleground state by several days. Another sets restrictions for mailing unsolicited, absentee-ballot applications.

The secretary of state could send the applications for general elections, only if the Legislature directs the money for it. Other public officials would be banned from doing so. Ohio's larger, urban counties traditionally have sent voters such applications.

Republican backers say the change helps achieve consistency across the state.

Democrats believe the measure violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and expect to sue in federal court.

Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County Executive Ed FitzGerald says the county also would look at legal options.

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