High court allows early voting in Ohio
October 16th, 2012
12:48 PM ET
9 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. JohnPeel

    Why is it that 9/10 times the SCOUS has been siding with Democrats on all these lawsuits lately? Who is on the side of The Constitution? I thought that was supposed to be the Republicans..... I guess reality, just like facts and fairness has a liberal bias.

    October 16, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. EB

    How interesting how all of the sudden, republicans are worried about "voter fraud"! How noble of them to show such concern....But it is also just as amazing that with their attempt at cheating, they have been blocked all the way to the Supreme court! They accuse others of cheating, when at the same time, they are the ones who are lying and cheating....How christian of them! Hahahahaha...

    October 16, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. MrBeenThere

    Howard I call BS on your made up story........... I call your one story and raise you 10 more I can make up.
    Number one this is not President Obama's fault it started years ago and with zero help from republicans house or senate to help fix anything because they don't like any social programs, they want to keep them broken so they fail.
    Let America become the best it can be for it's people..... Vote straight Democratic ticket.....Obama 2012

    October 16, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. Johann

    Nice reporting CNN – "one sentence order" and you can't even publish it?

    "The application for stay presented to Justice [Elena] Kagan and by her referred to the Court is denied."

    October 16, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. 4moreyears

    @critical Thinking

    You know darn well that the President did not want to prevent the military from voting. If the polls are going to be open why not let everyone still have that opportunity to vote. Right is right. How about the republicans didn't care abt voter fraud during the primary's. I'm just calling a spade a spade. The soldiers do recognize what a great leader they have. The war in Iraq is over Bin Laden is dead and the war in Afghanistan is coming to an end. What???????

    October 16, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. Jean Sartre

    Nice story, Howard, will you be following that tale up with Snow White and Paulie Ryan?

    October 16, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. asm_ith

    @Critical Thinking: How do you come to the conclusion that anyone was trying prevent the military from voting early? This case was about allowing everyone to have the same early dates available as the military, i.e., adding dates for non-military, not taking days away from the military. Get your facts straight.

    October 16, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. California Gary

    @critical thinking
    Before you actually start "thinking", it is "critical" that you first obtain some factual material in which to think about.

    October 16, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  9. BuckeyeInTX

    This is not just a win for Ohioans, but a win for democracy!
    Vote early! Vote Obama/Biden!
    Go Buckeyes!!!

    October 16, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. JohnPeel

    Why is it that 9/10 times the SCOUS has been siding with Democrats on all these lawsuits lately? Who is on the side of the constitution? I thought that was supposed to be the Republicans..... I guess reality, just like facts, fairness and justice has a liberal bias.

    October 16, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. mcskadittle

    i am not sure how you can call yourself "Critical Thinking" when you can't even read an article. let me use small word so that republicans can understand. Obama was never against the military voting early, he was against not giving everyone else the chance. Military can and always was able to vote early. so please take you rush b s somewhere else

    October 16, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. Critical Thinking


    What? The President followed the withdrawl timeline set by President Bush. He got Osama, yes but by spiking the ball he energized a 9/11 attack on our embassy which killed 4 americans. And he is ending the war in Afghanistan just in time for the election, which has created and enviornment where the people we have trained are killing us to show their support to the Taliban that has been patiently waiting for our exit that this President was accomadating to provide.

    That's What

    October 16, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. TY


    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.

    Get Real come on now. The war is done, health care, equal pay and the list goes on. Please don't let the lies stuck you in you seem like a thinker.....just think about it.....

    October 16, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  14. mcskadittle

    I found one! a republican that is too dumb to read the article or even know what the issue is about! wtg "Critical Thinking" The military can and was always able to vote early, it was never about them but everyone else in Ohio.

    October 16, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  15. Tree

    Take your MEDS please....and stop watching FOX news. Please put on your thinkers cap !

    October 16, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. mcskadittle

    This is a great victory for the american voter against republican voter suppression tactics

    October 16, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. Cam Spurgeon

    Let the people vote. All of the people and lets start criminalizing voter suppression. It is rediculous in America to be carrying on this way. Let the people vote.

    October 16, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Larry L

    Republicans all over the country are trying various tricks to suppress voter turnout of voters most likely to vote Democrat. This shows how they feel about the 47% Romney considers trash – like disabled vets, farmers far from town, old folks living on Social Security, and minorities trapped in a cycle of poverty. These are the people who have difficulties getting to the polls, obtaining government I.D.s, or getting off from work. Voter suppression is evil and completely un-American.

    October 16, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. cashmeremafia

    Kudos to the SCOTUS!!!

    October 16, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Guest

    If any of you think the last 4 years is something to be proud of as a democracy why isnt Obama spending his time discussing his accomplishments? Oh Thats right, there really arent any other than Obamaphones and the ACA which will cost untold amounts more in taxpayer cash than he told you! If you waste your vote again I recommend you grab your Obama commemorative plate and get an early jump on the line for bread and cheese!

    ROMNEY/RYAN 2012

    October 16, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. John the Historian

    They better allow early voting. Considering they gave the election to president Cheney in 2000. What a disaster that regime was. The 200 billion dollar debt from just the Iraq war.

    October 16, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. rs

    It is at least heartening to see that while we've been saddled with the most conservative SC in a generation, that they are sifting out the unconstitutional laws put forth by the GOP these past years. Kind of makes you wonder just how much the GOP REALLY cares about the Constitution of the United States when their laws go down in flames time and again.

    October 16, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. Don

    Good job SCOTUS. It was the right call.

    October 16, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. Bessy

    @ Howard
    Please, give me a break. What a made up story.
    Sure, there is a lot of fraud out there but everybody that is guilty of it is not a Democrat. Also, your figures, if it were a true story are way off. Get in touch with these agencies and find out what this lady would be eligible for. If it actually happened I bet she had a real fun time pulling your leg. Idiot !

    October 16, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  25. Paul

    Republicans have you not learned it is a bad idea to challenge a president who is a constitutional scholar?

    October 16, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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