ACLU files federal lawsuit over early voting in Ohio

“The cuts that we’re challenging in this lawsuit eliminated hours that were disproportionately used by lower-income voters, by African American voters, by single parents, by working voters"
Associated Press
May 2, 2014

 

The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against Ohio’s elections chief over limits to when voters can cast an early ballot in the perennial battleground state.

Ohioans can vote early by casting an absentee ballot by mail or in person before Election Day without giving any reason.

About 33 percent of those who voted in the 2012 presidential election cast absentee ballots.

The lawsuit filed in Columbus federal court claims that recent cuts to when early voting can take place will make it difficult for tens of thousands of residents to vote and will unfairly affect black voters, who the groups say are more likely to use weekend and evening hours to vote early in elections.

Freda Levenson, managing attorney for the ACLU of Ohio, told reporters at a news conference that voting should be designed for the convenience of voters and not a strategy piece for politicians.

"The cuts that we’re challenging in this lawsuit eliminated hours that were disproportionately used by lower-income voters, by African American voters, by single parents, by working voters,” Levenson said. “So these were not across-the-board cuts. These were cuts that had disproportionate impact on certain classes of voters”

Secretary of State Jon Husted and his fellow Republicans who dominate the Legislature have stressed that residents still have plenty of time to vote. They argue the changes help achieve fairness and consistency across the state’s 88 counties and benefit boards of elections.

Local boards of elections previously set early voting hours, creating a patchwork of times across the state. Without a directive from Husted, they would be free to set their own hours.

Husted spokesman Matt McClellan said voting in Ohio is easy, and opponents should instead sue states with no early voting hours.

Comments

abigbear

just keep it open 24/7 heck let them vote every day heck even 3-4 times a day give them time to get to all the districts on voting day that would be more fair for them huh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Big Dog's back

Repubs just love suppressing the vote.

wasthere

They have time to make it to the tattoo shop, the mall for high dollar sneakers, and bling, but they can't make it to the voting booth on time??

santown419

Who is they? What is bling? You sound straight ignorant dude.

wasthere

Ignorant? Have you read any of your posts fool? I may be ignorant, but I know how and when to vote and don't need "special" rules. Do you even vote, or just run your ebonic mouth?

santown419

What's ebonics? Have you read any of my post fool?

wasthere

I read them all Ape

abigbear

like the BLACK PANTHERS RIGHT BD

santown419

Like the teapot party is bear.

Donegan

So let me get this straight. Your a communist who doesn't mind people standing in lines for food and toilet paper but when it comes to voting you need 5 months to s**t together.

downthemiddle

Actually, we expect everyone to exercise their right to vote..... ONCE.

To such as dog, that's voter suppression.

Steve P

Democrapper mantra, vote early and often....

The Chicago way, early returns from the cemeteries.

Stop It

Screw the ACLU. Nothin' but sue happy lawyers.

Peninsula Pundit

Will the folks who are against expanded hours please take a deep breath and admit that all these posts about voting multiple times, etc, just have no proof in fact whatsoever? ( I suppose not, really.)
A review of these posts seem to have a hint of racism in their undertones and it doesn't take much of a leap to arrive at this conclusion.
Every study conducted by both conservative and liberal pollsters shows that voter fraud is in the tenths of a percent.
This is easily shown by the few who vote in the first place.
Are you suggesting that folks who are ill-disposed to voting in the first place come out of the woodwork to perpetuate fraud?
That's patently nonsensical and ridiculous on the very face of it.
I don't expect to change your opinion, but am striving to force you to face your rather silly notions about voting.

downthemiddle

see below

downthemiddle

Honest people believe in ''one person, one vote'' Why do democrats call this voter suppression???

grumpy

With the ability for folks to vote absentee, for any or no reason, there is really no reason for extended hours, and days to vote in person. You can sit at home on your coiuch and have your ballot mailed to you and you simply mail it back. You don't need to go through the hassle to get to the polls you simply need to sit on your cdouch and mark the ballot. No need for poll workers to sit day after day having gov't pay for their time, just vote absentee. I would have no problem voting online if safegaurds were used like those for when I vote my stock shares. You would have a point if there was no absentee voting... but since there is absentee voting you have no reason to vote in person. The election board has to pay folks to work the polls, absentee they deal with during their normal work day. I haven't voted in person for years. Absentee voting is great.

ohioengineer

The premise in the above article is faulty. The ACLU is assuming, and of course this assumption is unchallenged by our media, that early voting increases the number of people who vote. There is little hard data available to support this argument. In fact, most people who plan on voting will do so regardless of the poll hours and vice versa. The only real impact on voter turnout in the last few elections has been the increased use of absentee ballots.

On the other hand, the negative side of longer poll hours are increased administrative costs to keep the polls open; increased election costs (most candidates do most of their advertising just before election day); less election integrity (poll watchers are spread over more time); and more chance of manipulation by local officials (i.e., open the polls early in school buildings during a local school referendum).