Boy, oh boy, it must be very important for Republicans to bar early voting those last three days prior to the election:
September 4, 2012
To: All County Boards of Elections
Directors, Deputy Directors, and Board Members
Re: Obama Decision: Voting Hours
On August 31, 2012, a federal court struck the portion of Ohio Revised Code 3509.03 that ends inperson absentee voting the Friday before the election at 6:00 p.m. Obama v. Husted Case No 12-cv-636. The decision is being appealed.
Announcing new hours before the court case reaches final resolution will only serve to confuse voters and conflict with the standard of uniformity sought in Directive 2012-35. Therefore, there is no valid reason for my office or the county boards of elections to set hours for in-person absentee voting the last three days before the election at this time. If the appellate courts ultimately reverse the trial court’s decision, in-person absentee voting for non-UOCAVA voters will end the Friday before the election. If however, the appellate courts uphold the trial court’s decision, I will be required to issue a consistent uniform schedule for statewide in-person voting hours for the last three days before the election. I am confident there will be sufficient time after the conclusion of the appeal process to set uniform hours across the state.
Let me again emphasize, the constitutionality of the statute setting in-person absentee voting hours is still subject to court review and it would further confuse voters to set hours now that the court may change later. As such, this Directive strictly prohibits county boards of elections from determining hours for the Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday before the election.
Recall: the early voting law in Ohio was passed by a bipartisan majority as a response to the incompetent administration of the 2004 presidential election by Republican Ken Blackwell, who is now some sort of pundit-lobbyist-think tank director. We saw long lines and general chaos in 2004.
Early voting is an option ALL voters in Ohio had until Republicans restricted it in 2011. Early voting works. It’s convenient for voters and it takes pressure off polling places on election day. Voters love it. Yet Republicans are working very, very hard to rescind early voting. I’m confident we’ll be able to work around the barriers they’re throwing up, and Husted’s response isn’t shocking to anyone who has been paying attention since 2000, but it’s a battle every single damn day. They set up a barrier, we knock it down, they set up another one.