The organization that represents elections officials throughout Ohio has not taken a position on the federal court’s most recent ruling on changes to the state’s elections laws. Last week the court ordered the state to go back to some of the early voting options that were in place in 2010, but have since been eliminated by new laws. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted plans to appeal the ruling, but Aaron Oeckerman with the Ohio Association of Election Officials says his group didn’t ask Husted to do that.
Local lawmakers and activists are responding to the Supreme Court’s decision a year ago overturning article four of the 1964 Voting Rights Act. That article mandated that nine states that have a history of voting discrimination must notify the federal government before they make any changes to their voting rules—that didn’t include Ohio. The protection has been used to keep particularly southern states from passing restrictive voting laws.
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.