State Rep. Kathleen Clyde submitted an amicus brief asking the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the lower federal court ruling that reinstates the 3 busiest days of early voting for all Ohioans.
“I support the federal court’s ruling to uphold early voting on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before Election Day,” Rep. Clyde said of the brief. “Ohioans recognize the partisan, misguided attacks on their fundamental rights, and I urge the appeals court to uphold the three busiest days of early in-person voting for all Ohio voters.”
On August 31, a federal court ruled that Secretary Husted’s directive denying some Ohio voters access to ballots during the three busiest days of early voting was unconstitutional. Secretary Husted appealed the case to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, where the case is currently pending. The lower court rejected Husted’s request to stay its decision pending the appeal, meaning the in-person early vote period is October 2nd through November 5th at this time.
“Rather than permit all qualified voters to cast their ballots, Ohio law reflects a two-tiered system: the majority of Ohio voters are excluded from polling sites on the three days leading up to the election, while military and overseas voters, according to Appellee Secretary of State, may be permitted to cast their ballots through the day before the election,” explained Clyde in the brief. “This system did not emerge as a matter of any intentional, deliberative legislative choice, but rather from an utterly confused series of legislative enactments, repeals and technical corrections and administrative decisions that produced an arbitrary and unjustified distinction among voters in their access to the ballot box.”
The brief was submitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in the case Obama for America, et al. v. Jon Husted, et al. (Case nos. 12-4055 & 12-4076).
The group Vote Vets also filed an amicus brief arguing that the denial of in-person voting during the last three days before election day unconstitutionally burdens the rights of more than 900,000 Ohio veterans. So did the Mahoning County Commissioners. They argued that there is no rational basis for allowing some voters to vote on the final three days before the election while turning away other voters. The Commissioners seek to avoid expensive litigation that arose after the unacceptably long voting lines of 2004 – lines that were alleviated in subsequent elections by the use of early voting for all voters.
Rep. Clyde represents the 68th Ohio House District serving Northern and Southeastern Portage County, including Aurora, Garrettsville, Hiram, Kent, Mantua, Ravenna, Streetsboro, and Windham.