Supreme Court Rejects Ohio GOP's Attempt to Deny Early Voting

Oct 16 2012 Published by under Featured News


In a one sentence order, the Supreme Court rejected Oho Secretary of State, Jon Husted’s petition to restrict early voting rights during the last 3 days before the election. There were no noted dissents in the order, which said:

“The application for stay presented to Justice Kagan and by her referred to the Court is denied.”

Last week, Husted announced his intent to appeal a ruling by the 6th District Court, because:
“This ruling not only doesn’t make legal sense, it doesn’t make practical sense.”

In response to the Supreme Court’s decision, Obama For America’s General Counsel, Bob Bauer, issued the following statement:

We are pleased that the US Supreme Court declined to overturn federal court rulings that every Ohioan be allowed to vote during the weekend and Monday before the election. This action from the highest court in the land marks the end of the road in our fight to ensure open voting this year for all Ohioans, including military, veterans, and overseas voters. 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.

In 2008, 108,000 voters exercised their franchise in early voting 3 days prior to Election Day. Earlier this year, Husted attempted to restrict early voting in Democrat strongholds while maintaining the previous rules in Republican dominated districts. After a national outcry, Husted opted for restricting the early vote statewide.
Obama for America and the DNC sued Husted, arguing that his actions violate the 14th Amendment.
In his effort to restrict early voting, Husted also punished local election officials who attempted to challenge his edict.
If one were to summarize the legal problem resulting from Husted’s actions, it would be as stated by the Sixth District Court of Appeals in this portion of its ruling.

The State’s asserted goal of accommodating the unique situation of members of the military, who may be called away at a moment’s notice in service to the nation, is certainly a worthy and commendable goal. However, while there is a compelling reason to provide more opportunities for military voters to cast their ballots, there is no corresponding satisfactory reason to prevent non-military voters from casting their ballots as well. (my bold)

Obviously, the Supreme Court thought this ruling did make legal and practical sense.
Now that Husted has used all of his legal options, he and Republicans will have to face the reality that the law does require them to make voting accessible to all voters, not just the people the ones that benefit the Republican Party.

Image from barackobama.com Ohio

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