Victory for Expanded Voting Hours

On Friday October 5, Secretary of State Jon Husted was dealt another setback in his attemps to limit access to the polling places when the US Sixth Court of Appeals allowing early voting on the weekend before Election Day.  The Appeals Court said that voters would be "irreparably injured" by having the polling places closed on this critical weekend.  Many voters representing minority and low income populations utilize early in person voting at a higher rate than other voting populations.  It is more difficult to get off work to go downtown to vote at the board of elections during work hours, and early voting does not require identification.  This was the result of a lawsuit brought by the Ohio Democratic Party and the Obama Administration to allow every voter the opportunity to vote on the last weekend before election day.  The law as written by the Republican dominated legislature allowed only active duty military personnel to vote on that weekend. 

The issue is that this leaves the decision up to the local boards of elections.  We will see if Husted orders a uniform voting hours for that weekend as he has preached for the past three months.  I have no idea how the state will reconcile the desire to allow active duty to vote on that weekend, but not other voters with the divided local boards.  Or, as happened earlier, it could be that Democratic dominated counties have limited hours for that weekend and Republican areas have extended hours to vote.  We will post the hours for that last weekend as soon as we get word from the Cuyahoga Board of Elections.

Brian Davis