Sec. Husted announced he will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court last week’s decision by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a lower federal court ruling reinstating the 3 busiest days of early voting for all Ohioans. The Sixth Circuit held that the State did not have a good reason for taking away voting opportunities from non-military or overseas voters and that doing so was an unconstitutional violation of the guarantee of Equal Protection of the laws. The Court said the local Boards of Elections may allow all voters to vote during Saturday, November 3, 2012; Sunday, November 4, 2012; and Monday, November 5, 2012. Husted seeks to have that decision overturned.
State Rep. Kathleen Clyde released the following statement about Secretary Husted’s decision to appeal:
“How far will Secretary Husted go to deprive Ohioans of the right to vote on equal terms on the final 3 days before the election? Over 300,000 voters signed the HB 194 referendum petition to protect access during the busiest 3 days of early voting. Two federal courts have determined that it is unconstitutional to take that access away from most voters. At least five counties have already set hours for those final 3 days. Secretary Husted himself has warned of the danger of uncertain rules this close to the election. Sadly, he is prolonging confusion, uncertainty and harm to Ohio voters.”
“I hope this latest attempt at voter suppression inspires people even more to claim their right to vote. Today is the last day to register to vote by showing up in person at your early voting location or by postmarking and mailing your registration form by tonight. If voters who have moved do not update their existing registration today, they can still vote and update their information on Election Day.”
Ohio statute requires Boards of Election to offer in-person early voting to provisional voters who have moved or changed their name on Saturday, Nov. 3 until noon and Monday, Nov. 5 during regular business hours. Hours beyond noon on Saturday and on Sunday are up to the discretion of the Boards of Elections according to existing law and the two recent federal court decisions.