County boards of election must stop early in-person voting as of 6 p.m. Friday, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has advised, prompting Democrats to cry foul. The Rev. Jesse Jackson used a rally Wednesday at the University of Toledo to urge students and others to “occupy” the downtown voter-registration center “all day and night” this weekend. This occurs as a number of counties are reporting higher-than-usual absentee mail-in and early in-person voting for an off-year election, perhaps driven by interest in high-profile ballot issues such as Issue 2, which affects collective bargaining.
The early voting issue was created by a voter referendum effort on a controversial overhaul of state election law, House Bill 194, that had a spillover effect on separate legislation, House Bill 224, containing some similar language. The referendum effort has placed House Bill 194 on hold indefinitely, but the latter law passed unanimously and took effect last week.
As a result, Mr. Husted, a Republican, issued an advisory to boards of election in mid-October that early voting is prohibited during the last three days before Tuesday’s election. The Lucas County Board of Elections had scheduled business hours for Saturday and Sunday but canceled them to comply with last month’s advisory.
“We’re simply implementing a law passed unanimously by the General Assembly,” Husted spokesman Matt McClellan said. “That’s our role, and that’s what we’re doing.” Democrats, however, contend Mr. Husted based his advisory on a law dealing primarily with military ballots that had its legs cut out from under it by the referendum on the first law. “It’s not a game of Scrabble,” Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D., Kent) said. “When you take out major chunks … the bill is now unreadable and incomprehensible.”
Full Article: Politics – Toledo Blade.