(9-28-20) Ohio Southern District Court Judge Michael H. Watson rejected voter advocates’ request to suspend rules in a Sunday order.

Judge Watson was appointed by President George W. Bush, beginning service as a Judge of The United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on October 1, 2004.

Ohio’s rules for matching signatures on absentee ballots to those on file are burdensome for voters but not enough to change them ahead of the Nov. 3 election

Judge Watson agreed with Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose that the process ensures integrity in the state’s election procedures.

Watson wrote that changing the rules a little more than a month from Election Day would be “particularly damaging.”

“Some public officials have unfortunately regularly cast doubt on the security and legitimacy of voting by mail. A federal court enjoining part of the State’s procedure for maintaining the security of mail-in voting in the weeks leading up to the election could further undermine public confidence in elections.”

The lawsuit was brought by the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the A. Philip Randolph Institute of Ohio and two Ohio voters whose primary ballots didn’t count because of mismatched signatures.