Ohio’s early voting option for all Ohio residents was reinstated by a federal appeals court Friday. The court upheld a lower court’s ruling striking down the law limiting early voting to military personnel. The law in question had allowed military personnel to participate in a three day early voting period, while barring civilians from the same access to early voting.
Circuit Judge Eric Clay stated in the majority opinion that statistical studies referred to by the district court found “approximately 100,000 Ohio voters would choose to vote during the three-day period before Election Day, and that these voters are disproportionately ‘women, older, and of lower income and education attainment.'”
The ruling does not guarantee early voting to the entire state. Instead, counties within the state will determine if they are going to allow a three day early voting period to their voters. Due to the ruling, counties cannot limit early voting to military individuals.
Media Resources: Washington Post 10/5/2012; Think Progress 10/5/2012; Associated Press 10/5/2012