A federal judge has denied a request by Ohio’s elections chief to hold off enforcing his court’s order on disputed early-voting days. Secretary of State Jon Husted asked the judge to stay the ruling that restores early voting on the final weekend and the Monday before the November election while the state appeals the decision. Husted said he did not want to confuse voters by setting hours a court could later change. A judge in Columbus said Wednesday that Husted did not demonstrate his likelihood of succeeding on appeal or show “sufficiently compelling reasons” for the stay. He said Husted also didn’t show there would be enough time after the appeals process to set new hours.
Husted’s office said Wednesday it would comply with the judge’s ruling, but the Secretary of State said on 10TV’s Capitol Square he was reluctant about the process. Husted said his election workers need that time to prepare for the Tuesday election. “The boards of elections asked the general assembly to give them that Saturday, Sunday, and Monday to account for the millions of ballots out there. So that when the poll books go to the polls on Tuesday morning, all the ballots are accounted for,” Husted told hosts Tracy Townsend and Jim Heath.
Democrats do not buy the argument. They point out over 93,000 Ohioans voted in 2008 on the weekend before the election. That included many urban counties where President Barack Obama did well.