A federal judge on Thursday ordered Ohio to restore a week to its early voting period before the November general election, ruling that a state law that cut the days violated the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.
Ohio must reinstate a full 35 days of early in-person voting, which includes what is called a “golden week” where residents can register to vote and cast early ballots on the same day, U.S. District Court Judge Peter Economus ruled.
Ohio established the early voting period in 2005 in response to lengthy waiting times at the polls during the 2004 general election, especially in urban areas. Ohio is expected to be a pivotal state again in the 2016 presidential election.
The Republican-controlled state legislature in February approved a law that truncated the period to 28 days from 35, eliminating the early part of the period that had allowed people to register and cast ballots the same day.
Note that Republicans didn’t seek to eliminate early voting, they didn’t even significantly reduce it. They just got rid of the sketchy “Register here and vote here…” week. Had they tried to eliminate it, the judge’s rationale would have made a bit more sense, but still would have been a stretch:
“African Americans in Ohio are more likely than other groups to utilize EIP voting in general and to rely on evening and Sunday voting hours,” Economus wrote.
As such, he found, plaintiffs have demonstrated a strong likelihood the legislation and directive from the secretary of state would “result in fewer opportunities for African Americans to participate in the electoral process.”
First, the fact that African Americans are “more likely” to take advantage of the law doesn’t completely presuppose that it is the only chance they have to vote. It isn’t outside the realm of possibility that various leftist activist groups, as well as unions, exhorted people to get to the polls early, especially for “Register here and vote here…”
Even if that is not the case, then the judge’s logic only holds if African Americans overwhelmingly voted in the “Golden Week” and were largely absent from the other FULL MONTH that people were given to vote in person early.
So this really isn’t about the number of days. Four weeks is plenty of early voting time, even with the restrictions, and anyone claiming otherwise is insane. Anyone who absolutely, positively needs to vote early can.
This is really about the leftists’ overwhelming desire to make sure people can register late and vote the second they do.
With some…help, of course.