A federal judge on Wednesday denied a request by Ohio’s elections chief to hold off in enforcing his court’s order on disputed early voting days in the presidential battleground state. Secretary of State Jon Husted had asked the judge last week to stay his ruling that restores early voting on the final weekend and Monday before the November election while the state appeals the decision. Husted said he didn’t want to confuse voters by setting in-person, early voting hours that a court could later change. U.S. District Judge Peter Economus in Columbus said Wednesday that Husted failed to demonstrate his likelihood of succeeding on appeal and didn’t provide “sufficiently compelling reasons” for the stay.
The judge also said Husted didn’t show that there would be enough time after the appeals process to set new hours. “Without further evidence of damaging ‘voter confusion,’ this Court is reluctant to stay its Order on such a speculative and slim ‘public interest’ argument,” Economus wrote.
Husted spokesman Matt McClellan said the secretary of state would comply with the judge’s ruling while continuing to appeal the court’s decision. McClellan said Husted intends to provide guidance to boards of election on early voting during the final days before Election Day, but he didn’t know when that would occur.