Ohio officials asked a federal judge yesterday to hold off from immediately forcing the state to comply with his ruling last week that expands early voting this fall. U.S. District Judge Peter C. Economus temporarily blocked an Ohio law that trims early voting, and he ordered the state’s elections chief to set an expanded voting schedule. Early voting would start on Sept. 30 instead of Oct. 7. Economus also barred Secretary of State Jon Husted from preventing local election boards from adopting early-voting hours beyond his order.
The state is appealing Economus’ Sept. 4 ruling to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, which has agreed to hear it quickly. But yesterday, a three-judge panel of the appeals court declined to put the judge’s order on hold as the state seeks to reverse it. They said the state failed to demonstrate that the circumstances warrant a stay. “We assume that defendants will comply in good faith with the order pending our review on appeal,” the panel wrote.