Commentary

09.26.14

Fight for Voting Rights in Ohio Goes to the U.S. Supreme Court

By

U.S. Supreme Court

After a federal district court judge ruled in the ACLU of Ohio’s case NAACP v. Husted that cuts to early voting opportunities in Ohio must be restored in time for the November 2014 election, Secretary of State Jon Husted could have taken the opportunity to accept the court’s order and begin educating voters about early voting.

Instead, Secretary Husted and Attorney General DeWine appealed the ruling to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel affirmed the lower court’s ruling earlier this week.

Visit the ACLU of Ohio’s Vote Center to find out everything you need to know about voting in the upcoming election.

Read additional background information on NAACP v. Husted.

Still not satisfied, the state petitioned for the entire Sixth Circuit Court to re-hear the case and, on the same day, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block the district court’s order.

All the while, attorneys for the state have not been able to say why we shouldn’t continue the early voting opportunities that have been so successful for the past decade. Instead, they point to the availability of early voting in other states—or lack thereof—as a justification for limiting access to the ballot box in Ohio.

After the Election Day disasters in 2000 and 2004 that spurred the creation of early in-person voting in the first place, we know that robust early voting opportunities work for and are relied on by thousands of Ohio voters.

For voters with inflexible work schedules, African Americans, who have used Souls to the Polls programs for years, and voters who move frequently, early in-person voting opportunities like evenings, Sundays, and Golden Week are critical, and without them, these voters’ ability to vote will be burdened significantly. In addition, if the past is any indication, without these early voting opportunities, voting could become harder for all Ohio voters as lines and Election Day problems grow exponentially.

Whether it’s before a judge in a federal district court or the U.S. Supreme Court, we will continue to fight for the early voting opportunities that work for Ohio.

 

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