Ohio delays compliance with court order

Sept. 5, 2012 at 3:16 PM
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COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- The Obama campaign has asked a federal court to force Ohio to comply with a court order to restore early voting on the three days before the November election.

The campaign filed the motion Wednesday, one day after Ohio Republican Secretary of State John Husted directed county elections officials to disregard last week's ruling by U.S. District Judge Peter C. Economus ordering the state to restore early voting.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has filed an appeal, and Husted said Tuesday elections boards should hold off on complying with the ruling until the appeal is heard, because he says it "would further confuse voters to set hours now that the court may change later," The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reported.

Economus' ruling came in a lawsuit brought by the Obama campaign and Ohio Democrats, challenging Husted's order that all 88 Ohio county elections boards to do away with early voting on weekends -- which Ohio Democrats say has mostly been favored by voters in urban areas of the electoral battleground state.

In Wednesday's filing, the Obama campaign said Husted's Tuesday directive does not "identify the legal basis for this extraordinary action," and argued Economus' order should be respected until an appeals court resolves the issue, the left-leaning Talking Points Memo Web site reported.

"Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable injury if in-person early voting is not restored the last three days before Election Day," Economus wrote in his ruling Friday, "and there is no definitive evidence before the court that elections boards will be tremendously burdened."

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