An Ohio court has determined that your being allowed to vote for 29 days before an election is not enough. Now, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has filed briefs in the Court of Appeals to have that ruling overruled. So, will you be able to vote for 29 days or 35 days?
Husted filed an opening brief as part of the appeals process in Ohio Democratic Party, et al. v. Husted, Case No. 2:16-cv-1802. The case, which received an initial ruling from Federal Judge Michael Watson on May 24, 2016, overturned a law passed by the Ohio General Assembly to shorten the state’s absentee voting period from 35 to 29 days. The appeal is before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
In the brief, Secretary Husted noted that Ohio’s early voting period is one of the most generous in the nation and, despite the misleading rhetoric, ensures all voters are treated equally.
“Ohio is a national leader in making voting easy. It permits absentee voting beginning 29 days before an election. This is the tenth longest period in the country…Thirteen States, including New York, Michigan, and Kentucky, require voters to vote only on Election Day,” Husted said. “Absentee voting has always been ‘a privilege.’…Only if the State ‘absolutely prohibits’ a voter from voting on Election Day could an absentee-ballot denial burden protected rights…Yet the Democratic Parties did not identify a single person whom Ohio absolutely prohibits from voting.”
In his briefs, Husted said Ohio requires all voters to register 30 days before the election…It allows all voters to vote absentee over a 29-day period and gives all voters thirteen hours to vote on election day.
“Today, burdens in Ohio are minimal when compared to the rest of the country. As the district court noted, ‘Ohio’s national leadership in voting opportunities is to be commended.’…Ohio remains in the top ten States for the most early-voting hours,” Husted said. “Ohio should be lauded, not sued, for its ‘bold experiment in democracy.’”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.