Ohio Supreme Courts Rejects GOP Early Voting Challenge

The Ohio Supreme Court just issued a ruling that should help early voting efforts in this Midwestern battleground state -- including those by the Obama campaign.

Last week, the Ohio Republican Party sued Ohio's Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, because she directed boards of election allow people who register to vote between Oct 1st and Oct 5th to then follow up and vote. The Republicans argued that new voters should wait 30 days before receiving a ballot.

The suit was very important to Democrats, because they see this five-day early voting window as a way to register new voters and then have them vote for Obama. There are numerous planned efforts to bring thousands of voters to early voting centers starting Tuesday.

The Ohio Supreme Court, which denied the Ohio GOP's request for a writ of mandamus, said:

"We hold that respondent, secretary of state, correctly instructed boards of elections that an otherwise qualified citizen must be registered to vote for 30 days as of the date of the election at which the citizen offers to vote in order to be a qualified elector entitled to apply for and vote an absentee ballot at the election, and the citizen need not be registered for 30 days before applying for, receiving, or completing an absentee ballot for the election. Therefore, because relators cannot establish either a clear legal right to the requested extraordinary relief or a clear legal duty on the part of the secretary of state to provide it, we deny the writ."


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