(CNN) - A federal appeals court on Friday sided with the Obama campaign and Democrats in their lawsuit against Ohio over a restriction the state had placed on early voting.
Judges Eric L. Clay and Joseph M. Hood ruled 2 to 1 for the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, upholding a late August injunction preventing the state from restricting many voters from casting ballots on the final weekend before November's election.
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President Barack Obama's campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the Ohio Democratic Party filed suit in July over the restriction, which would have closed early in-person voting at the end of the day on the Friday before the election for all voters except those covered by a federal voting law. The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act required the state to maintain early voting for members of the military, their family members, and U.S. citizens living outside of the U.S.
In late August, the federal District Court found the state law "likely" violated the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution, acknowledging an argument that "low-income and minority voters are disproportionately affected by elimination" of particular early voting days. The court found "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.
The state had argued that "local county boards of elections are too busy preparing for Election Day to accommodate early voters" and that "unique challenges faced by military service members and their families justify maintaining in-person early voting for them but not for other Ohio voters," the court's opinion reads.
The circuit court said the injunction does not, however, require local election offices to be open for early voting during the weekend before the election, but said the injunction "return[s] discretion to local boards of elections to allow all Ohio voters to vote" that Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
The court's third member argued that the court's opinion was too broad in scope.
Obama campaign counsel Bob Bauer said the court ruled that "that every Ohioan should have equal access to early voting."
"As a result of this decision, every voter, including military, veterans, and overseas voters alongside all Ohioans, will have the same opportunity to vote early through the weekend and Monday before the election," Bauer wrote in a statement. "Across the country, the hard work to protect Americans' right to vote has paid off. We feel that every voter, regardless of party affiliation, that has the right to vote should be able to. We are now focused on making sure that voters across the country fully understand their rights, know exactly what their voting laws require of them, and clarify when they can cast their ballot."
Ohio Secretary of State John Husted said in a statement that "My office is reviewing today's decision by the court as we determine the best course of action moving forward."
He said he would take no further action on the matter "today, or this weekend."
- CNN's Justin Lear contributed to this report