Secretary of State Jon Husted has established new early-voting hours for Ohio’s 88 counties for all upcoming elections following a recent federal court ruling. Early in-person voting will span four weeks before elections, including two Saturdays and one Sunday.
A federal judge has ordered Ohio to reinstate early in-person voting the three days before Election Day.
Earlier this year, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted had directed the 88 county boards of elections to hold uniform voting hours -- and they did not include the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before November’s gubernatorial election. Democrats challenged that, saying it disproportionately affects their voters, who dominate early-in person voting on those days.
In a speech in Akron last week, Husted said his only concern has been uniformity.
Though Ohioans have been casting ballots early for years, the weekend before election day has been a disputed time. And though this is an off year election, that’s no different this year.
Many counties won’t be allowing in-person voting the weekend before the election. Democrats including party chair Rep. Chris Redfern say a ruling in a lawsuit from last year requires in person voting this weekend.
“It’s time for Secretary Husted to tell the counties that are not following state and federal law,” says Redfern.
Early voting numbers in Clark County for the November 5 general election have been low so far. With no hot button issues like casino approvals or collective bargaining limits, this year's election isn't likely to drive many people to the polls.
Clark County's ballot does include school levies, tax issues and municipal races, but Board of Elections Director Matthew Tlachac says voters shouldn't overlook local races and levies.