Federal Appeals Court Upholds Ohio Early Voting in Time for Midterm Election
Update 09.29.14: Due to an order by the U.S. Supreme Court, Ohio’s early voting period has changed. Read our press release: ACLU Comment on Supreme Court Action on Ohio Early Voting.
CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld a federal district court decision that restored early voting opportunities in Ohio in time for the midterm election. The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging a state law and directives that have dramatically slashed early voting opportunities in Ohio. On September 4, a federal court granted the ACLU’s motion for a preliminary injunction to halt the early voting cutbacks prior to full trial and in time for the midterm election; the state appealed, resulting in today’s decision.
“Today’s ruling marks a great victory for thousands of Ohio voters who must use evenings, weekends and same-day voter registration to cast their ballot,” said ACLU of Ohio Legal Director Freda Levenson. “Early voting works and this decision ensures that people’s voices will be heard at the ballot box without obstacles.”
The ruling upheld today restored the first week of early voting, known as “Golden Week,” in which voters are able to register and cast a ballot on the same day, as well as evening early voting and multiple Sundays.
The ACLU and the ACLU of Ohio filed the legal challenge to the restrictive voter law and directives in May on behalf of the Ohio Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, and several African-American churches. The complaint, NAACP v. Husted, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division.
A copy of the ruling is available at:http://www.acluohio.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/NAACPv.Husted-AppealsCrt-OrderAffirmingPI.pdf
More information about this case is at: https://www.aclu.org/voting-rights/naacp-v-husted
For more information about your right to vote, go to www.acluohio.org/vote
Update – 09.26.14
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted have appealed the Sixth Circuit three-judge panel decision by requesting that the case be reviewed by the full court. Consequently, the ACLU and ACLU of Ohio filed a response with the appeals court to deny the request. At the same time, the state asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the ruling from going into effect for the November election. If the Supreme Court denies the state’s request, early voting opportunities will stay the same. However, if the Supreme Court approves the state’s request, early voting would start on October 7 rather than September 30, and same-day registration, evening hours, and a second Sunday of early voting would be eliminated.