On Friday, 10/5, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that if early voting in Ohio is open the last 3 days for the military then it must also be open for all voters and there was much rejoicing. Then Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted had to be a kill joy on Tuesday when he announced he would be appealing the ruling to the US Supreme Court.
The State’s asserted goal of accommodating the unique situation of members of the military, who may be called away at a moment’s notice in service to the nation, is certainly a worthy and commendable goal. However, while there is a compelling reason to provide more opportunities for military voters to cast their ballots, there is no corresponding satisfactory reason to prevent non-military voters from casting their ballots as well.
So the bad news. The court ruling didn’t require early voting on the 3 days before the election leaving that decision up to the local boards of election. This means that we could be back to square one where if a local board splits on having early voting Husted will side with the people voting against it… ugh…
The other shoe dropped on Tuesday when Husted announced he would be appealing the decision to the US Supreme Court.
“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 (U.S.) Supreme Court to step in and allow Ohioans to run Ohio elections,” Husted said.
“This ruling not only doesn’t make legal sense, it doesn’t make practical sense,” Husted said in a written statement. “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. That means that one county may close down voting for the final weekend while a neighboring county may remain open. How any court could consider this a remedy to an equal protection problem is stunning.”
But yet he is willing to support the treatment of military voters differently than non-military voters. THAT doesn’t make sense. He is going the full nine yards in an attempt to muck up the elections for partisan reasons.
Voting is a primary civil right so I welcome the “intrusion” by the Federal Courts to prevent people like Husted and his GOP buddies from acting capriciously to reduce my rights. The court’s job is to protect my rights when my elected officials won’t do it.