Tuesday, October 09, 2012

SOS appeals Obama v. Husted to U.S. Supreme Court

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted will appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court a court ruling overturning the ban on in-person early voting during the three days before Election Day.

The case was brought by Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee, and Ohio Democratic Party after Secretary Husted issued a directive closing polling places that weekend in order to ensure uniform voting hours across the state.

Last Friday, a federal appeals court ruled that local election boards have the authority to open their early vote centers during those disputed days if they so desire. But part of the original lawsuit was the lack of uniformity in voting hours with Democrats complaining that their votes were being suppressed because some traditionally Democrat-leaning counties had voted not to be open those days while several Republican-leaning counties voted to have early voting hours those days.

Here is the Press Release:


Pledges that whatever the outcome, Ohio voting hours will be uniform statewide

COLUMBUS - Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced that he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to make the final determination on whether the General Assembly of the State of Ohio or the federal courts should set Ohio election laws. Husted will be appealing the Friday decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Obama v. Husted. Regarding this decision, all of the following may be attributed to Secretary Husted:

"This is an unprecedented intrusion by the federal courts into how states run elections and because of its impact on all 50 states as to who and how elections will be run in America we are asking the Supreme Court to step in and allow Ohioans to run Ohio elections.

"This ruling not only doesn't make legal sense, it doesn't make practical sense. The court is saying that all voters must be treated the same way under Ohio law, but also grants Ohio's 88 elections boards the authority to establish 88 different sets of rules. That means that one county may close down voting for the final weekend while a neighboring county may remain open. How any court could consider this a remedy to an equal protection problem is stunning.

"As a swing state, we in Ohio expect to be held to a high standard and level of scrutiny when it comes to elections. However, it's troubling that the federal courts have failed to recognize that there isn't another state in the union which can claim Ohio's broad menu of voting options and opportunity to vote. In Ohio, ALL voters already have at least 230 hours available to vote in person prior to Election Day, ALL registered voters received an application to vote by mail and ALL voters still have the ability to vote during the 13-hour window on Election Day itself.

"While I will be asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Ohio law through the appeals process, the last thing I want to see is a non-uniform system where voters will be treated differently in all 88 counties.

"Since some boards of elections have already started to take action on hours of operation for the three days before Election Day, I am going to take time to consult with all 88 counties before crafting a directive to set uniform hours should the state not be successful upon appeal."


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