The U.S. Supreme Court gave President Barack Obama’s campaign a legal victory in the pivotal state of Ohio today, backing early-voting rights for the weekend before the Nov. 6 election.
The justices rejected a bid by Ohio Republicans to limit the early voting on those days to members of the military. The rebuff came in a one-line order, with no published dissent.
Democrats and Republicans have jockeyed for months in Ohio over early voting, an option that favored Democratic candidates in 2010 and 2006, according to a 2010 study by the University of Akron. A trial judge cited an estimate that 100,000 Ohioans would vote in the three days leading up to Election Day.
“This action from the highest court in the land marks the end of the road in our fight to ensure open voting this year for all Ohioans, including military, veterans, and overseas voters,” Bob Bauer, the Obama campaign’s top lawyer, said in an e-mailed statement.
No Republican has won the White House without capturing Ohio, which controls 18 of the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency.
The Obama campaign has encouraged early voting in the state and elsewhere. The president plans to cast his ballot in person in Chicago on Oct. 25...
...After the high court acted, Husted issued a directive to the 88 Ohio county elections boards setting uniform hours for in-person early voting. Polls will be open on Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Nov. 4 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Nov. 5 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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