Friday, October 19, 2012

Early voting victory in Ohio

By Mustang Bobby

In case you missed this in all the coverage of the debate, the Supreme Court refused to hear Ohio's appeal of a lower court decision to allow early voting to continue in the Buckeye State:

The Supreme Court delivered a victory to President Obama's reelection campaign Tuesday, saying it would not set aside a lower court's ruling that all Ohio voters be allowed to cast ballots in the three days before the Nov. 6 election.

The Obama campaign had sued the state over its decision to end early voting on the Friday before the election for all but members of the military. The campaign said the decision would disproportionately affect poor, elderly and low-income voters, who are most likely to take advantage of early voting.

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit agreed. It said that if Ohio is going to open polls for military voters during the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before the election, it must allow all voters to participate.

"While there is a compelling reason to provide more opportunities for military voters to cast their ballots, there is no corresponding satisfactory reason to prevent nonmilitary voters from casting their ballots as well," the appeals court said.

Without comment, the Supreme Court turned down Ohio's request to revisit the lower court ruling. There were no noted dissents to the decision.

The reason that the Ohio Republicans are against early voting is pretty simple. They know that early voters tend to vote heavily for the Democrats, and, as Greg Sargent notes, the Democrats are very well organized and braced to get out the vote. This, by the way, is the reason why a lot of Republicans in states like Florida are doing everything they can to make voting — not just early voting — more difficult: if you can't sell your candidates on their merits, at least prevent the opposition from voting at all.

(Cross-posted at Bark Bark Woof Woof.)

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