It is an outrage
that the secretary of state in Ohio is going out of his way to
keep young people significantly African-American young people,
Latino young people from participating, the U.S. senator from
Vermont said in a statement released on Tuesday.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus and joined
by six Ohio 17-year-olds, alleged that a directive by Republican
Secretary of State Jon Husted would "arbitrarily discriminate"
against young voters.
Citing U.S. Census figures, it said such voters were more likely
to be black or Latino than older groups of voters.
Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the Nov. 8
election, has attracted support from young voters but has lagged
behind rival Hillary Clinton in winning votes among minorities.
Ohio is one of more than 20 states where 17-year-olds who will
be 18 by the time of the general election are allowed to vote in
primaries, the campaign statement said.
Husted ruled last December that those voters would not be
allowed to participate in the presidential primary.
He denied there had been any changes to voting rules.
"We are following the same rules Ohio has operated under in past
primaries, under both Democrat and Republican administrations.
There is nothing new here," Husted said on Twitter. "If you are
going to be 18 by the November election, you can vote, just not
on every issue."
He said that 17-year-olds were "not permitted to elect
candidates, which is what voters are doing in a primary when
they elect delegates to represent them at their political
party's national convention."
(Reporting by Eric Walsh in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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