High court allows early voting in Ohio
October 16th, 2012
12:48 PM ET
2 years ago

High court allows early voting in Ohio

(CNN) - The United States Supreme Court has given the green light to early voting in Ohio in the three days prior to November's election.

The brief, one sentence order from the court Tuesday is a setback for Republican leaders in the state, who had asked the justices to step in and allow pending restrictions to take effect.

Watch CNN's coverage of Tuesday's presidential debate starting at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV, CNN.com and via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Web users can become video editors with a new clip-and-share feature that allows them to share favorite debate moments on Facebook and Twitter. Click here for 13 reasons to watch the debate only on CNN.


The law would have allowed only military members and their families to vote in person in the last three days before the Nov. 6 election– from Saturday to Monday.

But a federal appeals court in Cincinnati earlier this month concluded if county election boards were open for the early voting, then the polls had to allow all potential voters. A preliminary injunction is in effect preventing the restrictions from being enforced.

The Obama presidential campaign, along with Democratic supporters in Ohio, had successfully challenged the law.

In late August, a 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.

Ohio is considered a key battleground in November’s election, with 18 electoral votes at stake. Polls currently show President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in a dead heat there, and both candidates have campaigned heavily in the state.

The case is Husted v. Obama for America (12A338).

Also on the CNN Political Ticker

– Colbert says he can't tell differences between Romney and Obama

– All tied up ahead of second Obama-Romney showdown

– Obama ad makes case for economic policies

– Romney message this week: 'A clear choice on debt and deficits'

– Largely hidden away, Obama reports debate prep 'going great'


Filed under: 2012 • Ohio • Supreme Court
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Brian

    yeah, obama knows the trend is against him. i voted for him last time... early voting... before he started talking about immigration. I won't make that mistake again. He had 4 years and got nothing to show for it. There is nothing he can say to earn my consent for him to stay in WH for another 4 years.

    October 16, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. ghostriter

    Wait for it...the sound of insipid conservatives screaming that the democrats voted against letting the military vote early......only to entirely miss yet again that the military folks will be allowed to vote early....just like everyone else.

    Good job Hustead. Another in a long line of republican backed attempts at voter suppression squashed. Who's next?

    October 16, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. UBS, WILLARD & THE 4000+ AMERICAN AMNESTY DEAL

    Even this right leaning SCOTUS can see the shenanigans these legislatures are trying to pull. Sorry, Mr. Husted, but Ohio is President Obama's for the taking.

    October 16, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Howard

    OBAMA'S SOCIALISM IS DESTROYING AMERICA ...

    Are we in trouble or what?
    Tom Selkis' (Latham Ford) Facebook..........
    True story yesterday at the dealership.....

    "I'll try to make this as short and to the point as I can. One of my
    salesmen here had a woman in his office yesterday wanting to lease a brand new Focus. As he was reviewing her credit app with her he noticed she was on social security disability. He said to her you don't look like you're disabled and unable to work. She said "well I'm really not, I could work if I wanted to but I make more now then I did when I was working and got hurt" (non-disabling injury).She said the gov't sends her $1500.00 a month in 1 check; she gets $700.00 a month on an EBTcard (food stamps), and $800.00 a month for rent. Oh yeah and 250 mins
    free on her phone. That is just south of $3500.00 a month.When she was working she was taking home about $330.00 per week. Do the math and then ask yourself: "why the hell should she go back to work?" If you multiply that by millions of people you start to realize the scope of the problem we face as a country. Once the socialists have 51% of the population in that same scenerio we are finished........ and we are real, real close. The question is: when do we cross that threshold if we haven't already?
    She didn't lease the Focus here because the dealer down the road beat our deal by $10.00month. Glad to know she is so frugal with her hard earned money!

    October 16, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. Indie in VA

    Wasn't this the court case that Republicans told us would prevent service-men and -women from early voting? Could it be they were fibbing? Republicans? Say it ain't so...

    October 16, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. Borderless

    The really, really stupid part about all of this is that either way, turn out would have been the same. Military, civilian, Republican, Democrat...it doesn't matter. Are we saying that there are people in this country that only have three specific days out of every two years to do their civic duty? STUPID!

    Both sides lose here.

    October 16, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  7. Malory Archer

    Yeah, howard, I really believe your story is true. NOT! NOBODY gets a $1,500 disability check or $800 a month in food stamps. It just doesn't happen.

    October 16, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "If you multiply that by millions of people "

    ...then you are grossly exaggerating the issue of social security fraud and using rank hyperbole to demagogue your blatantly incorrect, McCarthyist characterization of everything the government does to help the middle-class and poor as "socialism"...all while ignoring the billions and billions of unnecessary corporate welfare handed out annually to corporations sitting on record profits and record amounts of untapped capital.

    October 16, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. Al-NY,NY

    I guess the GOP will have to muster their intimidators a few days earlier than expected to stand outside the polling places

    October 16, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. California Gary

    @Howard
    People who abuse the system can be found under any administration......this doesn't fall on Obama. Are you saying that under a President Romney, all of a sudden all waste and fraud will magically disappear? Were there not people abusing the system under both Bushes? Under Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Ford? Under virtually every president we have ever had? Get real.......

    October 16, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. California Gary

    So every voter in Ohio will actually get the opportunity to vote? That's bad news for the GOP.......

    October 16, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. truth hurts

    Democrats are ALWAYS looking for ways to make the voting process as wide open as possible in order to allow as fraud to occur as possible. Let's vote for 6 months and not check any IDs. That way people can vote early, late and many many times. Wake up America. Your country is literally being stolen in the voting booth thanks to the Democrats.

    October 16, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. Carol Fairweather

    Canadians for Obama/Biden 2012..Woo who!!

    October 16, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Critical Thinking

    Let me see if I got this right. The commander-in-chief of our armed services wanted to prevent his own soldiers from voting early? I guess he knows that soldiers recognize what a real leader should be and he knows that he doesn't even come close to that standard.

    October 16, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Mia

    Brian...

    No one will be begging you to come back. You either believe in equal rights for all or you don't. Republican fear-mongering on immigrants need to stop.

    Obama 2012

    October 16, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. bb

    My respect for the U.S. Supreme Court is slowly returning.

    October 16, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. Woman In California

    Justice has been served once again.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 16, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. Wilson

    @Howard, thanks much for helping to prove, once again, that all the posters on the left have no credibility remaining.

    October 16, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. Jason

    @Howard,

    Show us PROOF of this so called woman getting 3500 dollars per month from the govt. Don't worry I know an idiot like you don't have no PROOF. Just another blogger sitting on the computer talking non-sense.

    October 16, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. thanks, but no thanks

    l am watching today's debate on PBS. Screw you CNN and your bs... agenda to make Romney look better than he really is. Following FOX news aren't we? CNN has become a disgrace.

    October 16, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  21. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    People who aren't in the 1% need to stop asking Romney what his tax plan is, ask the 1% they know and that's all that matters otherwise they wouldn't keep dumping millions into his campaign. Rich people don't invest their money where they don't have a say on their returns and Romney is going to do exactly what Adelson, Koch Bros. and others tell him to do, it's their money, they own him.

    October 16, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. Milton K. Wiah

    Somebody who has two jobs wouldn't wait 10 hours in line to vote. In 2004 Kerry was never concealed until
    the following day because there were people who were waiting on line to vote after all other states
    announced their election results. It is against this background the state decided to give people chance to vote
    early. The results were good in 2008 and Obama won. MCcain won the votes on election day but couldn't undo
    Obama lead in early voting. So the republicans want to reverse this by abandoning the law so that Mitt will
    have the chance to win this state.

    October 16, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  23. Critical Hit

    Critical Thinking said: "Let me see if I got this right. The commander-in-chief of our armed services wanted to prevent his own soldiers from voting early? I guess he knows that soldiers recognize what a real leader should be and he knows that he doesn't even come close to that standard."

    Actually, you got it about as wrong as possible. If you go back and read the article, the SCOTUS said OH cannot stop early voting for people outside of the military, which it was proposing to do. No one has even proposed taking away voting days from the military, all the SCOTUS said was that EVERY POTENTIAL VOTER MUST BE TREATED THE SAME WAY...

    October 16, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "Your country is literally being stolen in the voting booth thanks to the Democrats."

    By whom? Where's this evidence of voter fraud? In your head? Well, at least there's SOMETHING in there so you can fend off the accusations that it's empty. However, personally, I'd rather be known as having an empty head than one full of sh...

    October 16, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. incredulous

    To Critical Thinking and all the others who haven't been following any actual news. Everyone in Ohio was allowed to vote early. Republicans tried to change that so only military members were allowed to vote early (taking it away from everyone else).

    Democrats sued to restore early voting to EVERYONE while Republicans lied and said that Democrats were trying to take it away from the members of the military.

    Please pay attention.

    October 16, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
1 2 3 4 5