Judge Denies Stay Of Husted's Early Voting Changes

Sep 13, 2012

A Federal judge has denied a request by Secretary of State Jon Husted to stay the court's order to restore early voting on the final weekend and Monday before the November election while the state appeals.

Husted claims he does not want to confuse voters by setting hours a court could later change.  The judge says Husted failed to demonstrate his likelihood of succeeding on appeal or show "sufficiently compelling reasons" for the stay. Meanwhile activists continue to urge Husted to allow early in-person voting. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.

National and state organizations have delivered more than 80 thousand online petition signatures, about 7000 of which were from Ohioans, to Secretary of State Jon Husted.  The petitions ask him to re-instate the early, in person weekend voting that was allowed in the 2008 election but has since been eliminated.  Rashad Robinson with the Color of Change says getting rid of those weekend hours hurts low income voters, especially black Ohioans.

Robinson – To change the rules at the last minute is the very type of thing that has continued to happen to black Americans in this country throughout our ability to vote – throughout Jim Crow – it was all about changing the rules at the last minute, not having a fair and accurate system and making the rules murky so that certain folks can have their way.

The Ohio Secretary of State’s office did not want to make a comment about the petitions.  But Secretary of State Husted has been adamant about not wanting to allow weekend voting.  Husted says all Ohio voters can cast ballots by mail, thereby making the process of voting fit everyone’s schedule.