Legal battles have yet to be resolved in the pivotal state of Ohio over early voting and how to deal with mishandled ballots. The Republican-controlled state government is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to allow Ohio to have two separate deadlines for early voting – Monday, Nov. 5 for members of the U.S. military and Friday, Nov. 2 for everyone else. Last minute legal briefs were filed over the weekend, which means the justices could deliver a decision any day now. State Attorney General Mike DeWine must decide whether to pursue an appeal in a separate case, after federal courts ruled that the state is required to count votes cast in the wrong precinct.
Ohio, like 31 other states and D.C., allows early in-person voting in the days leading up to the general election. The Ohio legislature decided to adopt the practice after the state’s disastrous experience of 2004, when voting machine breakdowns and other problems caused people to stand in line for as long as 12 hours on election day.
In 2008, roughly 1.7 million Ohio residents voted early, making up about 30 percent of the total turnout. About 100,000 of those votes were cast during the final three days before the election. But legislative changes to Ohio’s election procedures in the last two years produced an apparently unintended consequence. The deadline for early voting was changed to the Friday before the general election, barring counties from allowing in-person voting on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before Election Day.
Full Article: Courts have yet to resolve Ohio election fights – First Read.