Cleveland A federal judge threw out new state rules governing voter registration drives Friday, saying they appear to violate the First Amendment and hurt efforts to sign up new voters.
Effective immediately, voters should ignore references to criminal penalties on the registration forms, U.S. District Judge Kathleen O'Malley said. She gave the secretary of state's office five days to remove references to the rules and penalties on its Web site.
The rules required those who register people to vote to submit the forms in person or by mail to the local board of elections. They also mandated online training for those who are paid to register voters.
The state said the rules were needed to guard against voter fraud.