Posts Tagged 'early voting'

Ohio House Democrats Praise U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Final 3 Days of Early Voting

COLUMBUS – The U.S. Supreme Court refused to overturn lower court rulings reinstating the final 3 days of early voting.  Last week, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal district court order to reinstate 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 unconstitutional.  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.  Secretary Husted tried to appeal the Sixth Circuit’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court which today refused to take up the appeal. 

In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of his appeal, the Secretary of State issued a directive ordering Boards to have early voting Saturday, Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 4 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Monday, Nov. 5 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Rep. Clyde released the following statement:

“I am very pleased that Ohio voters will again be able to vote on the final 3 days before the election as they were able to in 2008.  Despite Secretary Husted’s repeated attempts to block voting on these three important days, the United States Supreme Court sided with Ohio voters today.  With this important decision, we finally have certainty about what the early voting hours are.  We must now shift our focus to educating voters about the early voting schedule and what their rights are at the polls.”

Rep. Stinziano released the following statement:

“I applaud The Supreme Court’s decision rejecting Secretary of State Husted’s appeal involving the restriction of early in-person voting hours during the final three days before Election Day.

“This ruling is a win for all of the voters of Ohio and I’m pleased that the Court affirmed the ruling to restore the franchise of voting rights during the last few days of early voting. Ohioans will continue to have every opportunity to cast their ballot when it is convenient for them, including the last few days before Election Day, when unplanned conflicts can arise and where past elections have shown a demand.

“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 including these last few days.  In 2008, roughly 93,000 voters appeared at their early vote center during the last three days of early voting prior to Election Day.  Today’s ruling provides for an even smoother Election Day and affirms the votes of the many boards of elections who felt weekend hours were needed for proper election administration. All Ohioans should truly be pleased.”

Rep. Reece issued the following statement:

“It is unfortunate that we had to depend on the federal court to do what the State refused to do.  This is a major win for the voters of Ohio. The court decision could impact almost 93,000 Ohioans who took advantage of voting during those days in 2008. I am glad the matter has finally been put to rest in favor of Ohio voters and confusion over the issue has ended with the last 3 days reinstated.”

State Rep. Sandra Williams released the following statement:

“I applaud the US Supreme Court’s decision rejecting Husted’s appeal to eliminate the last three days of early in-person voting.  Upholding the decision of the lower courts only reaffirms that Husted’s previous directive was unconstitutional. 

“I am pleased that all Ohioans will have full access to the polls.  The last three days allows for greater flexibility and increased opportunities for citizens to cast their ballots.  While this is a big win for the people of Ohio, I want to encourage everyone to continue taking advantage of the in-person early voting hours.  Don’t wait for the last three days if you don’t have to.”

Rep. Teresa Fedor issued the following statement:

“This decision should reassure Ohio’s voters that the courts are not interested in helping state Republicans with their voter suppression agenda.  The highest court in the land has upheld early voting on the final 3 days before the election which will help us have a smooth election in which every voter’s voice is heard.  With this decision, veteran voters, elderly voters, student voters, minority voters, all voters will be welcomed back to the polls on the final 3 days before the election.”

 -30-

Advertisements

Rep. Clyde Slams Sec. Husted’s Decision to Fight Early Voting

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. 

-30-

House Dems Applaud Federal Court Decision to Uphold Last 3 Days of Early Voting for All

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.”

Rep. Clyde asks Court to Uphold Last 3 Days of Early Voting for All

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.

-30-

Leader Budish Statement on Recommendation to Fire BOE Members Who Supported Weekend Voting

Ohio House Democratic Leader Armond Budish (D-Beachwood) released the following statement upon the recommendation by a hearing examiner for Secretary of State Jon Husted that Montgomery County Elections Board members Dennis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie Sr. be fired for supporting expanded weekend early voting hours. The two board members came under fire when they refused to support limiting the previously agreed to early voting hours for Montgomery County following a statewide directive by Secretary Husted.

“I urge Secretary Husted to do the right thing and allow these men to continue to serve on the board of elections. Voting is our most fundamental right and Dennis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie are standing up and fighting to protect that right. It is time for Secretary Husted to put partisan politics aside, protect the voting rights of Ohioans, and do what is best for the voters of Montgomery County and the state, and that is to expand early in-person voting hours to weekends.”

-30-

State Rep. Alicia Reece’s Statement on Secretary Husted’s Decision to Cancel Early Voting on Weekends

State Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) released the following statement in response to Secretary Husted’s announcement that he is canceling all weekend early voting. At least 21 counties had agreed to hold early voting hours on weekends, and several large counties had been denied extended evening and weekend early voting hours by Secretary Husted’s tie breaking decisions. 

“I am pleased that Secretary of State Husted finally heard the cry of citizens across the state asking for extended early voting hours along with equal access to polls. However, his directive falls short in establishing weekend hours which provided some of the busiest times for voter participation in past years.”

Representative Reece is also calling for action in the State House on her legislation to standardize the counting of provisional ballots across the state. 

-30-

Leader Budish and Rep. Williams Statement on Secretary Husted’s Decision to Cancel Early Voting on Weekends

Ohio House Democratic Leader Armond Budish (D- Beachwood) and State Rep. Sandra Williams (D- Cleveland) released the following joint statement in response to Secretary Husted’s press conference announcing he will issue a directive canceling early voting during weekend hours. At least 21 counties have weekend early voting hours that will be cancelled, while nearly every urban county has also been denied extended early voting hours in tie-breaking decisions cast by Secretary Husted.

“Voting is one of the most basic rights of our democracy, yet sadly this right has been under constant attack by Republicans out for partisan gain.  In prior elections, thousands of Ohioans have taken advantage of early voting hours and Secretary Husted’s directive works against hardworking Ohioans who have difficulty taking time off from their jobs, making it harder for them to exercise their right to vote.  We are disappointed in the Secretary’s decision to carry out deceptive tactics being used across the nation to disenfranchise minorities, senior citizens, students, and lower income voters in this crucial election year.

“We encourage all of those who may have difficulty getting out to vote without these crucial weekend hours to vote absentee, and ensure their voice is heard.”

-30-


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 962 other followers

Ohio House Dems on Twitter!

Twitter Button