US appeals court says Ohio inmates don't get extra vote time

FILE – In this March 4, 2008, file photo, voters cast their ballots in Ohio's primary election at a polling station in the former Coventry Elementary School in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Federal appeals judges have ruled that people in Ohio who unexpectedly find themselves in jail ahead of an election should not be granted the same ability to vote late as those who are suddenly hospitalized.

A three-judge panel of the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday overturned a lower court ruling in favor of two men jailed the weekend before the 2018 elections.

The men sued claiming unequal treatment and First Amendment violations.

While inmates are required to meet the statewide absentee ballot requesting deadline of noon, three days before an election, hospitalized patients are given until 3 p.m. on election day.

The judges ruled Ohio's interest in orderly administering elections the burden of the absentee ballot requirement.

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