Courts: Ohio Early Voting OK
Federal and state courts in Ohio on Monday issued separate rulings allowing Ohio citizens to register to vote and submit an absentee ballot on the same day. Those court decisions open a seven-day Ohio "early voting" window that starts today, in what is seen as a key battleground state for this year's Presidential election.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Monday's court decisions concerned "an overlap period between the start of absentee voting today and Monday's voter-registration deadline for the Nov. 4 election." (See State-by-State Voter Registration Deadlines, from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission) In the past, Ohio voters were required to be registered at least 30-days before receiving an absentee voting ballot. Monday's rulings -- from the Ohio Supreme Court and federal district courts in the state -- effectively upheld a directive requiring Ohio county elections boards to implement processes allowing Ohio citizens to register to vote and submit absentee ballots on the same day. The Washington Post reports that, across Ohio, "[g]et out the vote efforts have been mobilized to take advantage of the window. . .and lock down votes from individuals who otherwise might not register or send in the absentee forms."
- Columbus Dispatch: Three Courts Rule on Absentee Issue
- Washington Post: Courts Allow Same-Day Vote Window to Go Forward in Ohio
- Wall Street Journal Blogs: Ohio's Battle Over Early Voting
- Ohio Election Officials Brace for Early Voting (AP/FindLaw News)
- Ohio Secretary of State: Federal Court Upholds Registration, Voting Overlap
- Register to Vote Now (U.S. Election Assistance Commission)
- State-by-State Voter Registration Deadlines [PDF file] (U.S. Election Assistance Commission)
- State Election Office Contact Information (U.S. Election Assistance Commission)
- Voters and Voting Rights (FindLaw)