In May, the Democratic National Committee and Ohio Democratic Party asked the U.S. Southern District Court to make permanent a 2012 ruling that county boards of election must allow early, in-person voting on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before Election Day.
The summary judgment issued Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Peter C. Economus orders Husted to set business hours for the three days prior to Election Day “to preserve the right of all Ohio voters to cast his or her vote with said hours to be uniform throughout the State and suitable to the needs of the particular election in question.”
The Obama Campaign sued Husted and the state of Ohio in 2012, alleging the change violated Ohioans rights to participate equally in elections. The courts sided with the plaintiffs, concluding it was wrong to treat some voters (non-military) different than others (military). The Ohio Supreme Court rejected a request for an emergency stay, and Husted released new hours including the weekend voting days.
The 2012 case remained open and Wednesday’s summary judgment makes the ruling permanent.
You all remember Judge Economus from the 2012 election. He doesn’t fool around:
A federal judge ordered Secretary of State Jon Husted on Wednesday to personally appear next week at a hearing about his reluctance to restore early voting the weekend before the Nov. 6 election.
Mr. Husted was reluctant. It just didn’t feel right to him to follow that order in 2012. He did, eventually, comply with the order and today makes that 2012 order permanent – unless Republicans change the voting laws again which they probably will.
Early voting is convenient and people really like it and it makes for better election administration because it takes some of the crush off election day. That’s also why Republicans oppose it.