DETROIT — A judge's order requiring some provisional ballots in Michigan to be counted even if they are cast in the wrong precinct was put on hold Sunday, the second time in as many days that a federal appeals court dealt a setback to Democrats who wanted to ease voting restrictions.
A 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Cincinnati issued a stay of a lower court ruling that had reversed Michigan's policy for counting provisional ballots, saying it would hear an appeal of the issue quickly. On Saturday, the same three-judge panel had rejected a similar ruling out of Ohio.
Provisional ballots -- required in all states for the first time this year -- are used when voters say they are properly registered but their names are not on the registration rolls. The ballots are later counted if elections officials determine the voter is validly registered.
Michigan officials had ordered that only provisional ballots cast in the correct precinct should be counted, but a federal judge in Michigan had issued an injunction Tuesday saying ballots should be counted for federal races, including presidential, if the votes were cast in the wrong precinct but the right city, township or village.