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Federal judge denies request to reinstate 2 Democrats fired from Ohio county elections board

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Tom Ritchie, Sr.,left, and Dennis Lieberman.

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COLUMBUS — A federal judge has denied a request to reinstate two Democratic county elections officials fired by Ohio's Republican secretary of state.

U.S. District Judge Walter Rice said Thursday that among other issues, the ex-officials failed to identify that a fundamental right had been violated by their removal.

The ruling comes after a flurry of filings by Secretary of State Jon Husted and the fired members of the Montgomery County Board of Elections, Dennis Lieberman and Thomas Ritchie Sr.

Husted accused Lieberman and Ritchie of "knowingly and willingly violating Ohio elections laws" by approving weekend early voting hours. The Democrats say they wanted to make the voting process as open as possible.

Husted has ordered all counties to have the same voting hours.

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