Four weeks before the election, there is still no certainty that polls will be open for early voting the three days prior to Election Day. Ohio's election chief has filed an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court to reverse the ruling of a Federal Appeals Court reinstating open polls throughout Ohio up until the election. The Obama for America campaign and other democrats sued Secretary of State, John Husted and Attorney General Mike DeWine, both Republicans, for cutting off early voting the Friday before the election. The three days before Election Day were open for voting in 2008 and Democrats have estimated in their claim that 93,000 people voted in Ohio those three days.
According to the Associated Press:
"They [Democrats] argued everyone should have the chance to vote on those three days. They said eliminating the opportunity for most Ohio residents to vote in person on those days, while giving military or overseas voters the chance to do so, led to unequal treatment."
Referring to the State's appeal, Bob Bauer, general counsel for Obama for America, said the campaign had no reason to believe that the state would find success at the Supreme Court level. "There is no justification for the state's arbitrary actions this year in trying to deny the vast majority of its voters access to open polling places for the last three days before the election," Bauer said in a statement.
Before the changes to the Ohio law, local boards of elections previously set early voting hours on the three final days. And weekday hours and weekend voting varied among the state's counties.
This just seems like common sense to me. Early voting has never been "cut off" like this before so why would they try to this year? It smacks of partisan strategy to somehow influence Ohio's vote. Especially when the reasoning behind trying to restrict voter access is that the state needs the three days to "prepare for the election". When stores prepare for Black Friday they certainly don't close for three days before hand. They plan for the influx of shoppers and are ready and they have all year long to prepare. Election boards have four years. There is absolutely no reason at all to be unprepared. Election Day crowds are nothing new. It's time to stop all of the cross filings and appeals and let the people vote, Ohio. This is a terrible waste of time and money.
What's your take? What do you think of the State's attempts to stop early voting three days before the election?