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Baptist college students can vote, judge declares

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BP)–Four Ouachita Baptist University students, one of whom is the governor’s daughter, can vote in the Nov. 5 general election following a ruling from a U.S. district judge.

The students had been blocked from voting in a dispute over residency requirements in Clark County, Ark, where OBU is located.

Gov. Mike Huckabee’s 20-year-old daughter, Sarah, a student at OBU in Arkadelphia, is one of the plaintiffs. Her father is seeking re-election and her mother, Janet Huckabee, is running for secretary of state. The Huckabees are Southern Baptists.

U.S. District Judge George Howard Jr. issued a temporary ruling Oct. 30 after hearing arguments for an immediate court order to allow the students to vote in Clark County in the general election.

The case, filed by four OBU students and the wife of a student, claims that Circuit Judge John Thomas wrongly ruled the previous week that college students whose families live outside the county are ineligible to use their campus address for voting purposes and register to vote in the county.

Howard said the students would suffer irreparable harm if he did not issue the temporary order. He noted in a written order later that the action barring them from voting in Clark County was taken after the deadline had passed for them to register to vote elsewhere.

The judge set a Nov. 13 date to hear arguments on the merits of the case and noted “the court finds that, in all likelihood, the plaintiffs will succeed.”

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