Just three days after a court blocked the implementation of Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, a federal appeals court has sided with the Obama campaign and the DNC, rejecting Ohio Republicans’ attempt to implement unconstitutional restrictions on early voting. As a result of today’s decision, when Ohio early voting locations open during this election, they will be open to all voters on equal terms.
In 2008, approximately 100,000 Ohio voters cast their ballots during the last three days before the election—including many low-income and minority voters who couldn’t make it to the polls on Election Day. In May, however, Ohio’s Republican secretary of state issued an order eliminating in-person absentee voting for the vast majority of Ohio voters during those final three days. The doors to Ohio’s early voting polling places would be open to some voters—but closed to others.
We challenged the state’s decision in court, arguing that it violated the Equal Protection Clause. In August, a district court ruled in our favor. Today, a federal circuit court affirmed that ruling, holding that Ohio’s action unjustifiably abridged the right to vote. The court ruled that when Ohio early voting locations are open to some voters, they must be open to all.
The full text of the court’s decision is available here.
Coming on the heels of major victories in Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa, and New Hampshire, today’s decision represents another milestone in our effort to protect the right to vote. As we defend voting rights in court, we must also ensure that all voters know how and where to cast their ballots on November 6. For more information on how to vote in your state, go to www.gottavote.com today.
Working together, we will ensure that, this Election Day, all Americans can exercise their fundamental right to vote.