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.”