Office of the Ohio Secretary of State
A federal judge has ruled that Ohio must restore full early voting hours for all voters—the latest high-profile win for voting-rights supporters.
Judge Joseph Hood of the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled (pdf) in support of a lawsuit filed by the Obama campaign, arguing that Ohio was violating the constitution by allowing military service-members, but not civilians, to vote on the last three days before the election.
After coming to power in 2010, state Republicans scrapped early voting for all but the military, raising an uproar among voting-rights supporters and Democrats. Many African-Americans traditionally vote on the Sunday before the election, after attending church—a ritual known as "souls to the polls." Around 93,000 people are estimated to have used those three days to vote in 2008, when Obama won the state.
Lean Forward reported last month that the coalition of military groups supporting the law in court was organized by national Republican operatives.
Secretary of State Jon Husted (pictured) gave no indication of whether he planned to appeal, saying in a statement his office is reviewing the decision.
On Tuesday, in another win for voting rights, a Pennsylvania judge blocked a state law requiring voters to present photo ID.