Ohio asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to overturn a federal appeals court’s ruling that the state must allow all voters to cast ballots on the weekend before the election, not just those in the military. A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit sided with state Democrats and President Obama’s reelection campaign last week and said the state had not shown why in-person voting during the Saturday-Monday period should be offered to only one group of voters. Ohio Secretary of State Jon A. Husted (R) called that an “unprecedented intrusion” by federal courts. “We are asking the Supreme Court to step in and allow Ohioans to run Ohio elections,” he said in a statement.
Obama campaign general counsel Bob Bauer criticized Husted for choosing to “extend the litigation.” “It is a shame that the secretary would not have committed his office’s energy instead to implementing the outstanding court orders and administering the orderly and effective early voting process that has served Ohio voters so well since 2005,” Bauer said. In past elections, it has been up to individual Ohio counties whether to offer voting on the weekend before the election. The state’s Republican leadership changed that this year, saying that only military members should be allowed to vote then. Ohio officials said that local election boards needed the weekend to prepare for Election Day, but that military voters deserve special treatment because they can be deployed at any time. The appeals court, however, said that local jurisdictions do not have to offer voting on the weekend, but that if they do, it must be open to all.