The Ohio Democratic Party will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate Golden Week voting for the November presidential election. The request will be part of an appeal to the Supreme Court in a lawsuit challenging the state’s attempt to shorten the early voting period to eliminate the week. Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper, in a phone interview Wednesday, said the appeal will be filed quickly, perhaps in a matter of days. “There’s just no reason not to allow the same process that’s been place for the last two cycles,” Pepper said. “The least harmful path is to give a stay and leave in place what was involved (for presidential elections) in ’08 and ’12.” The Ohio Democratic Party and Montgomery and Cuyahoga County Democratic parties are challenging changes in state law that reduced the early voting period from 35 days to 28 days. The reduction eliminated Golden Week, the only time people could register to vote at their elections board and then vote early in-person the same day.
A federal court judge on Tuesday ruled an Ohio law eliminating “Golden Week” was unconstitutional and violated the Voting Rights Act.
In May a federal judge struck down a state law, ruling that it violated both the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The state appealed to the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Earlier this month an appellate panel, in a 2-1 opinion, overturned the district judge. On Tuesday that same panel, again in a split decision, rejected the Democratic Party’s request that it stay its ruling while the party appeals.