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Ohio early vote law to go to Supreme Court

Oct. 9, 2012 at 1:46 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said Tuesday he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a federal court ruling on early in-person voting in the state.

Ruling in a lawsuit brought by the Obama campaign and Ohio Democrats, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday Ohio elections boards may reinstate early in-person voting on the three days before Election Day.

The suit challenged an order by Husted, a Republican, following the 2011 enactment of a law in the Republican-dominated Legislature eliminating early voting after the Friday before Election Day.

The court found state officials had "proposed no interest which would justify" the voting restriction.

"The public interest ... favors permitting as many qualified voters to vote as possible," the appeals court ruled.

"This is an unprecedented intrusion by the federal courts into how states run elections and because of its impact on all 50 states as to who and how elections will be run in America we are asking the Supreme Court to step in and allow Ohioans to run Ohio elections," Husted said in a statement Tuesday.

Husted said the appeals court ruling doesn't make sense because it leaves the decision on early in-person voting to county elections officials, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

"The court is saying that all voters must be treated the same way under Ohio law, but also grants Ohio's 88 elections boards the authority to establish 88 different sets of rules," he said.

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