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. scmom

    It's time to leave the sunroom "Miranda321" and go take your meds. The big Bad President won't get you in your room. He's not the devil or muslim, he's just half black.

    October 16, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. Steve

    thank goodness reason and common sense has prevailed.

    October 16, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. Larry in Houston

    I don't care what the polls say – in 1980 reagan vs carter – carter was the favorite – polls had him UP all the way to election day – then reagan defeated him by a landslide – I suspect this will be such a close election, Romney will end up "squeeking" thru – – – but let me be clear : if he does to the middle class, the same thing reagan / bush 41 & dubya done , he will also be a 1 termer. They started shutting down manufacturing / & factories way back when I started working in a factory – during the carter regime. Then when reagan got in, it started – slowly -with Reagan at the helm, told those air traffic controllers that he would "fire them" – then he started busting the unions, then the WTO ( world trade organization) then NAFTA – then more & more businesses were leaving this country – then when clinton came in – the Newter fought him tooth & nail – then clinton had to finally go newts way – (since he was the speaker) otherwise clinton would not have made a 2nd term) then we had "the Bush" – which was the worst one we've ever had in the history of this country – look what he'd done – he put us in such a hole, we'll never see daylight – and obama can't do anything about it – and Romney can't either – only thing Romney can do is provide Jobs as president, (he won't be shutting down factories & manufacturing, & selling them off, & putting the money in tax shelters, because the voters won't put up with it)
    May the Best Man Win – 2012
    Hillary – 2016 (with a "surplus" in – 2018 )

    October 16, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. ct

    There should be a mandatory day off for voting!

    October 16, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. Tim

    After this election is over the story will be how the republicans sought to supress the vote, intimidate voters and make sure their canidate wins by whatever means.

    October 16, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. pam

    Wow, so now democrats are against people serving in the military? Nice.

    October 16, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. Steve

    the proponents of voter id laws have stated in court filings that there is no evidence of in person voter ID fraud. Yet they say these laws are needed to preserve the perception of integrity and that purpose alone is sufficient. These laws disproportionately burden the poor and elderly who are more likely to vote for democrats. The courts have seen through this and ordered told the states to wait until after the election to allow sufficient time for everyone to get the required ID (that has been shown to be unnecessary). It will be interesting to see how enthusiastically these laws are supported through funding to be sure everyone can get an ID without charge once the election is over.

    October 16, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Hmmm....

    Why not early vote???? Some people need to becasue they aren't in town, only time they can get to vote – homebound folks.

    October 16, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. rs

    truth hurts-

    And your proof of voting fraud is??? 63 cases TOTAL in the last election for which the GOP wants to prevent millions of people from being able to vote legitimately in a dozen states in this election. That doesn't stink to you?

    October 16, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |

    This was a blatant attempt by Republicans to suppress voter turn out because the majority of people are against Republicans and Republican policies.
    Voter ID laws are blatant attempts by Republicans to disenfranchise voters that WILL vote against them
    They have taken these steps because they KNOW we are going to vote against them
    Because Republicans have blatantly tried to disenfranchise me and suppress voter turn out, I WILL WORK AGAINST THEM
    I WILL VOTE! ! !
    We must overcome

    OBAMA 2012

    October 16, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. adam

    Yet another Republican attempt to subjugate the will of the people.

    Voter fraud is only alive and well among Republicans.
    Remember Karl Rove and Diebold fixing Vote machines ?
    or the recent GOP 's contractor caught with registering bogus voters ?

    October 16, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. Charlotte

    Pam, what an incredibly stupid comment. Democrats never said anything against the military, where on earth do you get such a pigbrained idea? (sorry, pigs, I know yo're an intelligent species and overall it's very unfair to compare Pam to you). Just because they want everyone to have equal access to the Polls? What a thuglitard wonker YOU are.

    October 16, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. wolfpackbob

    It is The Economy, Mr. President. Your Economy, Mr. President. You built that.

    October 16, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Wow, so now democrats are against people serving in the military? Nice."

    No, they just think EVERYONE shoudl be allowed to vote early if they need to and the military should ALSO be given that right. There is no rational, reasonable, coherent argument for interpreting the suit filed by the Obama admin or the decision rendered by the courts on this issue as indicating that Obama or Dems "are against people serving in the military." To reach that conclusion requires a tinfoil hat, 5 grams of crystal meth and a frontal lobotomy.

    October 16, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. obamaphone

    I will vote Obama because he gave me my free obamaphone! Now I can call all my homies! Obama gives me more gov't handouts than ever before so I dont have to ever worry about working anymore. I will vote Obama, well, I would vote Obama but I am a felon with 8 kids, so it's in your hands America! Vote Obama, the king of welfare, that makes all these handouts possible! No to Romney that will create jobs and make me work for a living.

    October 16, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. RepublicanVoter

    @pam "Wow, so now democrats are against people serving in the military? Nice."

    You are wrong Pam. This has nothing to do with anyone being against the military. The Democrats have pushed to allow early voting for all, the Republicans wanted to limit early voting.

    Specifically, the republicans sought to allow ONLY military people to vote in the three days before November 4th - to shut down this opportunity for other people who needs this to have their vote heard: primarily elders, people with disabilities, poor and low-income earners.

    I urge you to be educated and informed, don't let the pundits and the headlines steal your all important vote!

    October 16, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "the GOP wants to prevent millions of people from being able to vote legitimately in a dozen states in this election. That doesn't stink to you?"

    "Stink" is a relative term. Given the placement of "Truth's" head, it is unsuprising that he finds alot of really disgusting, cynical, blatantly un-democratic behavior from the GOP/Teatrolls to smell like roses.

    Like Ryan's little stop in Ohio yesterday at a food kitchen for the poor: the president of the company running the kitchen said Ryan wasn't invited because they do NOT do political support or events for ANY candidates or parties, but Ryan showed up unannounced and uninvited and then proceeded to PRETEND to wash dishes that were ALREADY CLEAN just for a photo-op. He had wifey-poo in tow with him too. My guess is it's the first time she's seen him even pretend to do dishes in their time together and that she had to restrain herself from telling him "no, you're doing it wrong."

    October 16, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. Phil


    Why do you say Democrats are against serving in the military? How does this decision adversely affect those in the military, other than they might have to wait in line a little longer to vote?

    I served proudly in the Navy when it was neither popular nor fashionable. In those days unless you were stationed in your home state you generally did not have the option of voting in person. You needed to order your absentee ballot and return it by a certain deadline or your vote would not count. Most states have made it much easier for EVERYONE including military members to exercise the right to vote, which is how it should be. I really do't think the challenges of the military are so unique in this regard. There are plenty of sales and business people out of town on voting day, plenty of workers who stand longer than 12 hour shifts who work through voting day, and a thousand other reasons why a person would need to vote early. If they are leagle voters, why shouldn't they be allowed to?

    October 16, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. Jack

    All you 'against the military' people need to stop drinking the kool-aid. Yes I said that tired old cliche. IF the dems had said no early voting for anybody at all.... military or not... you would be right. But they didnt say that.

    Funny tho... the Reps sealed their doom from the beginning. They actually should have said no early voting for anybody. That way they would arguably look much less partisan since they would also lose the military vote that has usually been in favor of their party. The ones who forced this through have nobody but themselves to blame.

    October 16, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. Welfare Prez

    Obama is the greatest Welfare President the US has ever seen!

    October 16, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. Bill from GA

    To Charlotte: If you want to know where people get such a pigbrained idea, you should spend some time watching Fox 'News'. It really is educational; you'll learn why America is so divided. Occasionally they tell the truth, but don't let that fool you; they are at least 85% propaganda.

    And some of their personal (Sheppard Smith or Jenna Lee) are more often accurate than others. In fact, I'm amazed Shep (good ol Southern boy) is still around.

    October 16, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. gordyb

    We are in trouble if the GOP gets the WH back. Do people have such short memories that it was the policies of the GOP that started the economic crisis, started two wars with no plans to pay for them or to end them and the GOP do nothing congress that obstructed any attempt at job creation the past two years to keep the economy dragging. If you have forgot all of the above and vote them back in, you deserve what you will get.

    October 16, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. cashmeremafia

    First the media is biased, then the polls are biased – now is the Supreme Court is biased too?

    October 16, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. Mario

    It's for Hispanic, African American and all Democrats to come together change TEXAS to a BLUE State. Let shock the political World. OBAMA 2012

    October 16, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. Malory Archer


    Wow, so now democrats are against people serving in the military? Nice.


    Wow pam, you lie as effortlessly as mittens & lyin'. Nice!

    October 16, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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