When Ohio’s early voting locations open during the next 21 days, they will be open to all voters on equal terms. That simple premise was effectively reaffirmed today in an order by the Supreme Court of the United States. What’s astounding is that Ohio Republicans passed laws and implemented restrictions attempting to dismantle the right of qualified voters to enter the voting booth while the polls are open. Obama for America and the DNC sued the state of Ohio for discriminately closing its polling places to certain voters while leaving them open and accessible to other voters during the final three days of early voting. And with today’s ruling, our lawsuit has prevailed.
Even so, we should not miscast today’s ruling as a mere political score for the Obama campaign. In fact, it’s a major victory for voters. With today’s order, the Supreme Court has left in place two lower court decisions which require that equal protection of the laws be accorded all eligible voters. That’s also a victory for democracy.
This latest triumph does not stand on its own. It represents a major milestone in our successful fight against Republican-sponsored restrictions on voting rights. Nationally, voting rights advocates have challenged other restrictive voting laws—and won. I’ve previously discussed these efforts in states such as Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa, and New Hampshire.
For the full meaning of these victories to be realized, however, we need to work at the grassroots level to make sure the rights of voters are protected on Election Day. If you are an attorney, paralegal, law student, or other voting rights advocate, join the Victory Counsel today. Together, we can ensure that all voters are able to exercise their fundamental right to cast a ballot and have it counted.