Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
High court refuses GOP request, won’t block early voting in Ohio

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Oct 16 2012 10:49 am • Last Updated Oct 16 2012 05:41 pm

COLUMBUS, Ohio • The Supreme Court sided with Democrats on Tuesday in refusing to block a decision over disputed early voting days in the battleground state of Ohio, giving President Barack Obama’s campaign a victory three weeks before the election.

The court refused a request by the state’s Republican elections chief and attorney general to get involved in a battle over early voting on the three days before Election Day.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Obama’s campaign and Ohio Democrats sued the state officials over changes in state law that took away the three days of voting for most people but made exceptions for military personnel and Ohioans living overseas.

Democrats in their lawsuit cited a recent study saying nearly 105,000 people voted in the three days before the election in 2008. They argued everyone should have the chance to vote on those three days. And they said eliminating the opportunity for most Ohio residents to vote in person on those days, while giving military or overseas voters the chance to do so, leads to unequal treatment.

Attorneys for the state said many laws already grant military personnel special voting accommodations, such as requirements for states to send absentee ballots to them 45 days before the election. And they argued local boards also need those three days to prepare for the election.

On Oct. 5, a federal appeals court reinstated voting on the weekend and Monday before the election and returned discretion to set hours on those days to local boards of elections.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court last week. He said it opened up the chance for Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections to set different rules, while at the same time ordering that all voters be treated the same.

Before the changes to the Ohio law, local boards of elections set early voting hours on the three final days. And voting hours varied among the state’s counties.

Husted had been accepting boards’ recommendations for hours on the disputed days in the event his appeal wasn’t successful.

Shortly after the high court’s decision, he directed boards to be open on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before the Nov. 6 election. He also set uniform hours.


story continues below
story continues below

Bob Bauer, general counsel for Obama for America, praised the Supreme Court decision.

"We now turn our full attention to educating Ohio voters on when and how they can vote along with presenting the clear choice they face when selecting their next president," Bauer said in a statement.

Associated Press writer Mark Sherman in Washington contributed to this story.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.