A win on voting rights

Good work:

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.

20 replies
  1. 1
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    Excellent news.

  2. 2
    Mandalay says:

    It’s hilarious to see Husted putting lipstick on the pig, and pretending he’s thrilled with the outcome:

    I am pleased that the federal court has affirmed what I have long advocated that all voters, no matter where they live, should have the same opportunity to vote. Thankfully, uniformity and equality won the day. When it comes to voting days and hours, I have urged uniformity, bipartisanship and certainty – so that all Ohioans can know the rules for voting well in advance of the election.


  3. 3
    BGinCHI says:

    I so hope messing with peoples’ voting rights comes back to haunt the GOP by resulting in increased turnout.

    Let it be so.

  4. 4
    James E. Powell says:

    Message to my beloved home state – elect a Democrat to the Sec’y of State and you won’t have these problems. Democratic Governor, also too.

  5. 5
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @James E. Powell: Yeah, did you notice how few problems there were when Jennifer Brunner was SoS?

  6. 6

    Thanks Kay for making us smarter by keeping us informed.

  7. 7

    Ditto. Making minorities angry enough to turn out and vote at a high rate would be very good for this country – and for overturning these offensive laws.

    EDIT – I would still prefer minorities never have to deal with laws like this in the first place.

  8. 8
    Mj_Oregon says:

    Vote-by-mail works very well in Oregon. Too bad so much of the rest of the country seems determined to make voting difficult for “those people.”

  9. 9
    Morzer says:


    Did Husted’s statement conclude with “I can’t take more questions at this time as I have an urgent appointment with a wood-worker to whittle my nose down to its former size and shape”?

  10. 10
    Kay says:


    Souls to the Polls is centered on urban areas, so Husted’s definition of “uniform” means the rural counties set the baseline which is more restrictive because they have fewer voters and don’t care about Sunday – Souls to the Polls day.

    This was really about “what’s the baseline?” – which county is the uniform standard, urban or rural.

    The system really does work better with early voting. I like it because if you have a first-time voter or someone with ID issues, they have a chance to correct any problems before the voting window closes. The whole mad-dash-panic is gone.

  11. 11
    Kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Remember when she would be on FOX? They would just scream at her for the 3 minute segment and she would sit there calmly.

    She’s unflappable. She’d, like, slightly raise one eyebrow when the spittle really started flying.

  12. 12
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Kay: I don’t watch Fox, but I vaguely know her from Columbus legal circles – unflappable is exactly right.

  13. 13
    pseudonymous in nc says:


    Vote-by-mail works very well in Oregon. Too bad so much of the rest of the country seems determined to make voting difficult for “those people.”

    Once more with feeling: vote-by-mail is not a panacea. Indeed, it’s highly arguable that in the wrong hands, it’s more problematic than in-person voting, because it is more subject to coercion and manipulation. Voter fraud through postal ballots is actually a thing: not a big thing, but a thing.

    Vote-by-mail works very well in Oregon because Oregon values free and fair elections. Statewide vote-by-mail is to treated like the return of certain fauna to a cleaned-up environment: an indication that voters trust the state will not fuck about with their votes.

  14. 14
    eldorado says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Once more with feeling: vote-by-mail is not a panacea.

    agree completely. it’s especially open to coercion in ways that anonymous in-person voting isn’t.

  15. 15
    rikyrah says:

    this is fabulous news, Kay.

    Illinois just expanded voting rights today…well, it’s waiting for the Governor to sign it, and I’m sure he will

  16. 16
    James E. Powell says:


    See, e.g., senior citizens apartments

  17. 17
    metricpenny says:

    Good to read you here Kay! And great news to hear!

    You all keep up the good fight in Ohio.

  18. 18
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    “But when will prominent democrats act on this issue?”

    -someguy (or whatever eyeore it was)

  19. 19
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    Late to the party, but I was quite pleased to read this opinion. I was hoping you’d post about it. Thanks again for all the election coverage.

  20. 20
    cmorenc says:

    The fact that GOP-controlled state governments so consistently accompany voter id laws (written to disproportionately impact likely democratic voters) with cutbacks on voting days/hours/places (designed to disproportionately affect the times likely democratic voters are most likely to be able to cast ballots) is proof that the alleged justification for voter id laws is to prevent voter fraud is complete bullshit – the aim is to disenfranchise enough likely democratic voters to enable the GOP to win elections despite a demographic tide that is turning increasingly against them.

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