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.

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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).

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

    The ONLY reason to allow Republican-friendly voters to vote early, but to deny that right to all others, is an attempt to skew election results.

    The ONLY reason to deny paper trails on electronic voting machines is to avoid getting caught in election fraud.

    Republicans are utterly shameless. They have no sense of decency or honor.

    October 16, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  2. Steve

    TO EB
    Republican have always been concerned about voter fraud. it has always been the democrats who do not care, that is why they are against having to show an ID to vote.

    October 16, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. scmom

    Overturning these measures by the supreme courts is not siding with Democrats and going against the constitution, it's siding with democracy. Everyone should be able to vote not just republicans. That's everyones right and no one should tinker with that. Why not make it easier for voters to vote as long as they vote. It's unbelievable that so many people think that so many people want to risk being charged with voter fraud just to cast another vote. My one vote is enough and I want to do it the way I want with no hinderance. Sure we need a national voter id card with your picture and this will solve everything. These suppression laws are being knocked down but it has a double purpose it is also confusing.So in some instances it will work because no one knows what the hell is going on.

    October 16, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Ohio republican board of elections president implement new voter restrictions laws a few months ago, limiting voting hours and weekend voting in four major democratic counties in the state while extending voting hours and weekends in all republican districts. Well, if that is not an obvious way to disinfranchise and suppress the right to vote, then perhaps there's another word for it...Jim Crow!

    A months ago, Florida board oe elections discovered that a republican backed firm was involved in issuing hundreds of false voter registration forms throughout ten Florida counties. Can anyoneone say hanging chads? And another investigation found that republican campaign officials were also registering dead people to vote. So which party is truly behind voter fraud and suppression? If you guess the teapublican party, you're correct.

    Obama/biden 2012 by a LANDSLIDE.

    October 16, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. vj

    yet another nail in Mitt's electoral coffin

    October 16, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. ARMYCSM

    Right is right, wrong is wrong. Wrong will cost the republicant's the election. Remember this I, Army CSM, told you so. because the next time I post it will be to tell you...I TOLD YOU SO!

    October 16, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. Scoop

    @ John Peel, Really the SCOTUS is supposed to lean Republican? I thought they were supposed to be no partisan period? This is not about disenfranchising the military, this is about fairness period. Noone is against ID at the polls, its just that what exactly has changed since the midterm that warrants this outrage or concern over voter fraud? Why cant voters use what they have always been using for years? Voter fraud doesnt seem to be a concern when the GOP wins like they did in the midterm. Wake up people and think critically for yourselves. Whats right is right!

    October 16, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  8. Dawn

    There is a God, funny how the GOP always tend to talk about God and the bible, yet they forget that God don't like ugliness. He is a just God, and justice in this case was served.

    October 16, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. Babyboomer

    Good call. Some people can't take on Tuesdays without losing some of their pay. Why should they have to do that when early voting can keep that from happening. This was all about suppressing the minority and working poor vote. Glad it didn't work...

    October 16, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. Pete

    If people remember it was a republican rep in Ohio that stated they want voter supression to win it for Romney,how more blantant can you get..It's happening in all republican led states and they're going as far as trying to unseat democratic justices in Florida so they can change the voting rules there too..Nathan Sproul is contracted in 8 states to supress the democratic voter at all costs ,he was found guilty of voter fraud in Florida again.He was involved in shredding ballots for Bushs two elections won over Gore,Kerry and is doing his crooked tactics today,ask you republican delegates they kicked in 30 million for his services,he ain't cheap but neither is democracy!!

    October 16, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. Guest

    I have no problem with this decision but to say the left isnt against voter id is absurd. Anyway, Obamas ship is sinking. You can vote to be LEFT with him or simply look at the facts of this administration and vote the RIGHT way. Hopefully Springsteen will break it to him easy...in a song perhaps...I'm going down, down, down , down

    ROMNEY/RYAN 2012!! For America!!

    October 16, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. miranda321

    This comes as no tsurprise another moderator that is a liberal. Obama has the media and every evil group here in his pocket this has turned into one sickening Nation. To let a man that is a muslim and for the muslims run our government yet all thinks that great. To let a man go against all Gods laws and put other Gods before him is another matter we will pay as a nation for this one. I never voted for the evil one the first time and after what he has done to ruin this nation whey would anyone vote for him this time. People wake up before it is too late. We are going under if you have not noticed he takes all our money and used it for himself and his money spending wife or gives it to companies that have all gone under another one today when will people ever learn what he is trying to do. But if he is reellected we will pay big time cause I fell God has his own plan. Obama thinks he can control all the governemt and stop anything they try to do tp get behind cover ups but he uses his great power to stop it all and people blame the congree. He is such a disgrace to our country and God but he can't pay off God all he can do is abomination of all his laws and he will be in judgement one day.

    October 16, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. Dan5404

    Even Republicans have been unable to find voter fraud. That's because there have been only about 10 individual cases in 10 years of people trying to vote that were not legal one way or the other. They have tried gerrymandering, all kinds of requirements on IDs, even advertising that you'd need a picture ID in one state, when you actually weren't required to do so. Changing ealy voter requirements, etc. It's all part of the right-wing GOP's efforts to suppress Obama voters. The only problem is, courts are telling them generally that they can't legally do much of that crooked manipulation.

    October 16, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. kevin

    Now if they can straighten out that "hanging chad" at the bottom of our country we can have a fair election!

    October 16, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  15. miranda321

    Yes why don't the democrats just hand out post card with names and addresses of people and the dead ones and mail them in postage free. Guess no one cares this mail in crap and early voting is just fraud pure and simple. What ever happened to election day and why it has become a crime to have to show and ID. YOu do for most everytihing else. Just another lying trick to get votes that are not legal. One day you people are not going to love Hussein Barrack Obama he is dooming America.

    October 16, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. Dorkus Maximus

    The penalty for voter fraud is far greater than the benefit of casting an extra vote for your candidate of choice. It's only when it is used as an boogeyman to implement wide-scale voter suppression actions that voter fraud really become a factor in elections.

    October 16, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  17. Mike44

    Gosh Darn it! Now how can the GOP get the upper hand if they can't limit voting times or put restictions on ID's? I know! How about putting up billboards in the poor sections and minority sections of towns in American saying it is a crime to commit voter fraud! Oh wait! They are already doing that.....

    October 16, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. Jim

    The act of trying to limit citizens' right to vote is un-American. Everywhere the GOP has a significant majority in the state's legislature they have attempted to limit the vote. The GOP is therefore un-American!

    October 16, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  19. 1twinsfan

    The old "we're too busy preparing for voting to allow voting" trick didn't work? Shocker! If your ideas are sound and possible then that should get you votes, not suppression.

    October 16, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. Marty, FL

    Good news for democracy.

    October 16, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. jo2

    @Howard

    You Lie!! and you know it. I work for Human Services and a person receiving $1500 monthly in SSDI does not qualify for $800 per month in Food Stamps.

    October 16, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. Dave

    You will all be surprised on Nov 7 after all the votes are counted, it will be a 60-40 vote for our current occupant in the White House. The majority will speak, will you listen?

    October 16, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  23. Guest

    Yes, we all know how integrity is such a disenfranchising principle for democrats and that they would certainly be disproportionately affected!

    October 16, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  24. Bill from GA

    In my conservative state, Georgia, I got an absentee ballot by filling out a form online, printing it, & mailing it in. Got the absentee ballot 4 days later. No ID required. Works for registered voters with no changes name or address.

    So EZ my dead father could do it. (He's now a Democrat!! :)

    October 16, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. BobInIrvine

    @Miranda: Your screeds are hilarious, if not for the fact you're serious.

    "why it has become a crime to have to show and ID" (sic). Um, where did you hear it was a crime to have to show ID. No, it's that it's clearly intended to suppress legitimate votes. I also note you failed to mention the fraudulent registration campaign by Republican operatives that registered voters but threw Democratic registrations in the trash. Now, that's a crime!

    October 16, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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