Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted on Tuesday prohibited county boards of elections — for the time being — from setting hours to open their doors for early voting the weekend before the presidential election. Although a federal judge last week restored in-person early voting during the last three days before the Nov. 6 election, Husted said it would be inappropriate to set voting hours for those days because the judge’s ruling has been appealed. “The constitutionality of the statute setting in-person absentee voting hours is still subject to court review and it would further confuse voters to set hours now that the court may change later,” Husted said in a directive issued Tuesday to all 88 county boards of elections.
Democrats bashed Husted’s directive, saying it is the latest example of Republicans’ efforts to limit access to the polls. “Republicans should stop playing partisan games with our elections in a cynical attempt to sway the outcome,” Ohio Senate Democratic Leader Eric Kearney said in a statement.
Judge Peter C. Economus, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, ruled unconstitutional a new Ohio law that would have shut down early voting after 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, until the polls opened on Tuesday, Nov. 6.