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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ohio Official Will Take Early Voting Decision to Supreme Court


COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio secretary of state, Jon Husted, said Tuesday that he will appeal to the Supreme Court a decision by a federal appeals court last week that sided with President Obama‘s campaign, allowing expanded early voting in the final three days before the election.

“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,” Mr. Husted, a Republican, said in a statement.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that Ohio voters would be “irreparably injured” by a decision from the secretary of state that called for eliminating three days of in-person early voting Nov. 3 to Nov. 5. The court said the decision could be left to individual counties.

But Mr. Husted, who has pushed for bringing uniformity to election laws across the 88 counties in Ohio, said Tuesday that he found the ruling to be “stunning” and a violation of equal protection because voters would be treated differently.

“This ruling not only doesn't make legal sense, it doesn't make practical sense,” Mr. Husted said. “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.”