Tags: ohio | early voting | supreme court | golden week

Ohio Early Voting: US Supreme Court Nixes Dems 'Golden Week'

Image: Ohio Early Voting: US Supreme Court Nixes Dems 'Golden Week'

Guards stand in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 7. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 14 Sep 2016 02:11 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a request from Ohio Democrats that sought to restore the state’s “Golden Week” for early voting.

Golden Week – a seven-day period during which people can both register to vote and cast a ballot – was created after the 2004 election, when many Ohio voters waited up to 12 hours to vote, CNN reported. However, Republicans pushed for early voting to be cut back from 35 days to 28 days, CNN noted.

Democrats said Republicans pushed for the change because many African Americans who supported President Barack Obama appeared to rely heavily on early voting opportunities, CNN noted.

Ohio Democrats later challenged the repeal stating that it “discriminated against black voters,” taking their case to the nation’s highest court after the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against them, according to Reuters.

“Ohio Republicans can keep trying to make it harder for people to vote, but we will continue to fight them at every turn,” Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper told Reuters.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, countered that stance, saying election laws had made the state less susceptible to voter fraud and “one of the easiest states in the nation in which to register and cast your ballot.”

Marc Elias, a lawyer for the Ohio Democrats, said in court documents that “Golden Week has formed an essential part of the election reforms that ameliorated, but did not completely remedy, the long lines, chaos and confusion that plagued the 2004 presidential election in Ohio,” CNN reported.

Elias also argued that “tens of thousands of Ohio voters have relied on Golden Week during the past two presidential elections, and African-Americans have done so at far higher rather than other voters.”

Without the six-day period to register and cast early votes, Ohio voters will now have four weeks instead of five to vote early, beginning on Oct. 12, according to The Huffington Post.

“We’re disappointed in the outcome, but we’re not surprised given the fact that the Supreme Court is hamstrung with only eight justices because of Republican obstructionism,” Pepper said, according to The Huffington Post.

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The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request from Ohio Democrats that sought to restore the state's "Golden Week" for early voting.
ohio, early voting, supreme court, golden week
Wednesday, 14 Sep 2016 02:11 PM
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