Voting restrictions imposed by Ohio Republicans earlier this year will make casting a ballot in the Buckeye State significantly harder, and will hurt African-Americans far more than whites, according to a new court filing which offers a wealth of data to back up its claims. The brief, filed Monday by lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), asks a federal judge for an injunction to block the restrictions—cuts to the early voting period, and the elimination of same-day voter registration—before this November’s election. The ACLU filed suit earlier this year, alleging that the moves violate the Voting Rights Act’s ban on voting changes that have a racially discriminatory effect. But until Monday, it had not offered detailed information in support of its case.
In February, Ohio’s GOP-controlled legislature passed a law that cut the first six days from the state’s early voting period. The days that were eliminated were known as “Golden Week,” when Ohioans could register and vote on the same day. Less than a week later, Secretary of State John Husted followed that up by announcing a ban on Sunday and evening voting.
A federal judge recently required Husted to restore early voting on the weekend and Monday directly before the election—part of a case that went back to the lead-up to the 2012 election. But the other cuts remain in place. Ohio’s Republican governor, John Kasich, who signed the early voting cuts into law, will be on the ballot for reelection this fall.