Ohio Elections Chief Taking Early Voting Battle To Supreme Court


The Ohio election chief is appealing the court ruling that reinstates three early voting days.

Secretary of State Jon Husted said he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to make the final determination on the election law.

"We need to hear from the highest court in the land about whether states are going to be reserved the right to set their own rules or whether or not the federal government is going to come in and set the rules for all 50 states," said Husted.

Last week, the 6th U.S. Court of Appeals reinstated early voting on the three days before Election Day, returning discretion to local boards of elections.

The original state law only allowed military personnel and Ohio voters living overseas to vote on those days.

“This is an unprecedented intrusion by the federal courts into how states run elections and because of its impact on all 50 states as to who and how elections will be run in America we are asking the Supreme Court to step in and allow Ohioans to run Ohio elections," said Husted in a news release.
President Obama's campaign and Democrats sued the state's elections chief and attorney general over the legality of the law. They argued that everyone should have a chance to vote on those days.
The state contended that many laws grant special voting accommodations for military members, and officials need time to prepare for elections.

“While I will be asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Ohio law through the appeals process, the last thing I want to see is a non-uniform system where voters will be treated differently in all 88 counties. Since some boards of elections have already started to take action on hours of operation for the three days before Election Day, I am going to take time to consult with all 88 counties before crafting a directive to set uniform hours should the state not be successful upon appeal," said Husted.

President Barack Obama's re-election campaign says Ohio's elections chief has no justification for appealing a federal court's ruling in a dispute over three final days of early voting in the battleground state.
Obama for America's General Counsel Bob Bauer said courts have concluded that polls should be open on the disputed days. He said Husted's office should be devoting its energies of implementing an orderly and effective early voting process.

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