Ohio Secretary of State refuses to restore early voting pending appeal
Ohio’s Secretary of State, Jon Husted, will not set new early voting hours despite a court order, according to a memo released by his office.
“Announcing new hours before the court case reaches final resolution will only serve to confuse voters,” the memo states. “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.”
The memo prohibits county election boards from setting hours for the Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday before the election.
On Friday, a federal judge ruled that Ohio must restore in-person early voting to all voters through the Monday before Election Day. The Obama campaign had sued the state after the Ohio legislature and Husted canceled early voting in 2012 for everyone except members of the military and their families.
The decision is being appealed. Husted insisted setting early voting hours amid the legal battle would only confuse voters.
“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,” his memo states.
[Image via ProgressOhio, Creative Commons licensed]