Ohio Legislature's request denied in voting case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge has denied the Ohio Legislature's request to become part of a lawsuit challenging early voting rules in the key swing state.

The Republican-controlled General Assembly had sought to be among the lawsuit's defendants, which include the state's attorney general and elections chief. Attorneys argued that lawmakers had a right to defend the statutes they enact.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio filed the lawsuit in May along with predominantly black churches and the Ohio Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The groups claim that recent early voting changes will make it difficult for residents to vote and unfairly affect black voters.

The judge said Wednesday the General Assembly failed to convince the court that its position differed from the current defendants.

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