Judge pauses Ohio early voting restriction
August 31st, 2012
06:13 PM ET
2 years ago

Judge pauses Ohio early voting restriction

(CNN) - A federal court in Ohio on Friday ruled that a change in the state's early voting procedures, which closed polls to most individuals the weekend prior to Election Day, was "likely" unconstitutional and granted a request from the Obama campaign to put enforcement of the law on hold.

The court acknowledged an argument that "low-income and minority voters are disproportionately affected by elimination" of the three days of polling for many voters and said "there is no definitive evidence... that elections boards would be tremendously burdened" by returning poll access to the standard before recent changes to the state's laws.

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A federal district court in Ohio issued a preliminary injunction on Friday, 67 days out from the November election.

President Barack Obama's campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party brought the state to court this summer, arguing that the state's two different deadlines for in-person early voting would disenfranchise some voters.

Laws recently passed by the state's Republican-led legislature and signed by the Republican governor would close the polls to many voters at 6 p.m. the Friday before an election.

A federal law, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act (UOCAVA), would continue to require the state to allow some qualified voters to cast ballots during that window. The law covers those serving in the military, their family members, and U.S. citizens living overseas.

The court found that voters "have a constitutionally protected right to participate in the 2012 election - and all elections - on an equal basis with all Ohio voters, including UOCAVA voters," and noted that the Obama campaign had submitted "statistical studies to support their assertion that low-income and minority voters are disproportionately affected by the elimination of those voting days."

Among other precedents, the court cited the Supreme Court's finding in Bush v. Gore, the case which effectively decided the 2000 election.

Legal action over voting regulations, such as voter identification, is underway in several states. As a key battleground state, the November result in Ohio is especially important.

A spokeswoman for the Ohio Secretary of State's office said the ruling is being reviewed and had no further comment.

In the 2008 election, nearly three in ten Ohio ballots were cast before Election Day, and 93,000 ballots were cast in the three days before Election Day.


Filed under: 2012 • Ohio
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. JM

    This was nothing more than voter supression, the sad part is that the GOP will not admit it.

    August 31, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  2. axolotl

    About time someone stood up to the d i s g u s t i n g connivance of the Republifascists

    August 31, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  3. scott

    Look it is simple to make people get a photo id in order to vote is the same as a pole tax you cannot vote unless you go get a state id and when people say they are free do they mean all across america or the state they live in because twohundred and fifty years ago there was no need for a state id and now all of a sudden in this day and age the need arises to the point that it has to be done here and now because of voter fraud? really! where is the overwhelming proof not to mention no time limit as to give the voters a chance to get their buissnes in order just make it a law here and now is unacceptable for all in this country not just on a state by state basis.

    August 31, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  4. ron arizona

    The republicans can't win the vote legally so they try to surprsss the votes any way they can. I guess when DEMOCRATS helped to put in republicans like John Kasich last election theyre getting all thePENICILLION they asked for.You auto workers in Ohio [in which i am a retiree] remember who saved you'r damn job and who said LET THE AUTO INDUSTRY GO UNDER when you vote in NOV. GOOOOO O BAMA You ALL better pray to GOD Romney dont get in.Arizona ron retired in AZ.

    August 31, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  5. Rennes11

    I'm pleased that things aren't going to be controlled by a group of people who want to change rules to benefit just them. Last month I was visiting my 4 year old grand daughter and we were playing a game. She'd make up rules and we'd play. Then we'd play again and she made up new and different rules. Each time it was so that she could win. Some of the Republicans even admit what they are doing.

    Mike Turzai speaker of the house Allegheny PA "voter ID laws will help Mitt Romney win the state"

    September 1, 2012 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  6. whitmanguy

    For at least a time, rationality and fairness have obstructed Republican obstructionism. Democracy in America is still healthy. Let's keep it that way by doing our best to vote Republicans out of office this November–before they succeed in limiting voter eligibility to those likely to keep them in forever.

    September 1, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  7. SafeJourney

    That right repubs, voter supression will NOT be tolorated in the U.S.

    September 1, 2012 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  8. Michael

    Repuglicans conservatives (so called christians) will lie, cheat, misrepresent, mislead, discriminate, divide, con, deceive, to get into the white house! Their biblical mantra is "do as I say not as I do" or "its about the money honey" or "you must pay to play" or "money is the answer to everything and loving it is good"

    September 1, 2012 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  9. Ryan/Romney Kill Medicare Team 2012

    Well if you can't steal it, buy it. Ohio for the Ryan/Romney team is getting out of reach. The lie about the GM plant in Jamesville, WI caught up to Ryan the media has branded him as a liar.

    September 1, 2012 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  10. Chris

    Well this seams to be the 4th or 5th court ruling in a row blatantly favoring the Obama machine. To include the supreme court. It's pretty obvious that Obama has proved he can reach the courts. I think America has seen it's last presidential election of our lifetime. Thanks a lot CNN and NBC we owe it all to you.

    September 1, 2012 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  11. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    The Gop goofball party can't buy or fix this election !!!!the whole country is watching as these total losers who don't belong in government at all try to buy and rig the vote , wake up people ,vote the Gop trash out !!!

    September 1, 2012 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  12. Shills

    Attorneys and lawyers in every level of power making laws that we all have to obey and a major expense in America. Wonderful.

    September 1, 2012 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  13. jason

    A victory for the voters in Ohio!

    September 1, 2012 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The GOP's only hope to elect a puppet for big business, is voter suppression. All American citizens deserve the right to vote.

    September 1, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Where did republicans get the idea that only plutocrats should have the right to vote?

    September 1, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  16. fernace

    Voter supression from the GOTP is about as un-American as it gets! Talk about dirty tricks! And it's all out there in the open for every1 to see! Why aren't All American outraged! These people work for Us, at a salary most of us only hear about, w/a great health & retirement plan, all on our dime! Why aren't more people demanding answers!? Why haven't we been furious about the Do Nothing congress, or the right swearing a pledge to a rich man, not the Nation & its People, or vowing to make Obama a 1 term President!? Everything we're (dems, repub, indies) experiencing now is due to these & other factors! This has not been a balanced government for 31/2 yrs & infact there has been blatant sabotage from the inside! All the extraneous issues (abortion, gay rights, immigration) have simply been a way to pass time in congress & a distraction from the real issue: Don't touch the 1%s tax subsidies, (a.k.a rich folk welfare)! It's all been about that & Romney/Ryan will get that done! Obama Again, Thanks!!

    September 1, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  17. GI Joe

    When the republicans can't win, they buy the election.

    When republicans can't buy the election, they steal it.

    September 1, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  18. enuff

    That's judge number 2. Anymore?

    September 1, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  19. WiredweirdinSF

    Gotta give the dope addicts, welfare frauds and union members a chance to vote as many times as they can. That is how Obozo won the last election. Its funny the democrat liberals fight for the right to give the election fraud people a chance to vote as many times as possible in Ohio and yet in the same state they fight to restrict the opportunities for military stationed overseas to vote. Democrat liberal hypocirisy once again for everyone to see, but the liberally biased media will not tell you about it.

    September 1, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  20. Marie MD

    The teapublikkklans will have to start to tell more lies and continue to rewrite history.

    September 1, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. bcrunner

    Thank God for these judges!! The Republican governors are intent on supressing the vote knowing very well it is the minority vote they are supressing to win the election for Romney... Funny how this is all happening in Republican run states... They cannot produce any evidence of voter fraud and still they are pushing for these changes. It was not so funny when the secretary of state for Ohio used his vote a month ago to allow early voting for Republican counties but used his vote to restrict early voting in Democratic counties. When the newspapers in Ohio brought this to everyone's attention, that's when he changed it to allow early voting only for military personnel. The Obama administration said No! Everyone should have early voting... and the judges agreed... When will this stop???

    September 1, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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