The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower federal court ruling to reinstate the 3 busiest days of early voting for all Ohioans. The 6th Circuit held that the State did not have a sufficiently weighty interest for taking away voting opportunities from non-military or overseas voters and that such disparate treatment would be unconstitutional. Discretion is returned to the local boards of elections to allow all Ohio voters to vote during Saturday, November 3, 2012; Sunday, November 4, 2012; and Monday, November 5, 2012.
State Rep. Kathleen Clyde released the following statement in response to the ruling:
“This is a huge victory for all Ohio voters. Ohioans should now have access to the polls during the three busiest days of early voting, the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before Election Day. Today the Court upheld the notion that the Ohio Republicans violated equal protection of the laws by cutting off the final three days of early voting for some but not all voters. Thank goodness for this ruling which protects the fundamental right to vote on equal terms for all Ohioans on the 3 busiest days.”
State Rep. Michael Stinziano released the following statement in response to the ruling:
“The ruling of the Court of Appeals is a win for the voters of Ohio and I’m pleased that the Court affirmed the ruling of the lower court to restore voting rights to all Ohioans so they can have every opportunity to cast their ballot when it is convenient for them, including the last few days before Election Day. Voters deserve easy, open and accessible voting and local Boards of Election need to decide what is best for their county.
“As the former Director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, I have seen and experienced firsthand the importance of an efficient early voting period. In 2008, roughly 93,000 voters appeared at their early vote center during the last three days of early voting prior to Election Day. Unfortunately, instead of building on this success and a desire for a smooth election day, there are individuals who prefer the long election lines encountered in 2000 and 2004 and are fighting to limit voting rights instead of expanding them.”
State Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) released the following statement in response to the ruling:
“This is a major win for the voters of Ohio. I would hope the early voting hours will be established and announced quickly to cut down on confusion. The entire country is looking at Ohio, and we must get it right.”