Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has appealed to the nation’s highest court a ruling that expands in-person voting during the three days prior to Election Day.
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Oct. 5 sided with President Barack Obama’s campaign and Democrats, ruling that voting during the weekend and Monday before Election Day must include all Ohioans. Previously, the three early voting days only applied to military personnel and their families.
With less than a month before Election Day, the U.S.
Supreme Court will decide whether to take the case. If it declines, then Husted will decide whether to enact uniform hours for all of Ohio’s 88 counties or allow each county to decide its own hours.
In an Oct. 9 statement, Husted hinted at setting uniform rules if the appeal is unsuccessful: “Since some boards of elections have already started to take action on hours of operation for the three days before Election Day, I am going to take time to consult with all 88 counties before crafting a directive to set uniform hours should the state not be successful upon appeal.”
In the past, Husted argued voting procedures should ideally be “locked down” months before Election Day. But with this appeal to the Supreme Court, the rules will remain up in the air.
Ohio Republicans have repeatedly blocked any expansion of in-person early voting, citing racial politics and costs.