Elections 2012: Supreme Court Approves Ohio Early Voting before Election Day

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Ohio’s request to curtail early voting in the state leading up to the November 6 presidential election.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied an appeal by Ohio Republicans and decided on early voting for Ohio residents on the final weekend before Election Day. Photo: Ronny Richert/Flickr

As The Huffington Post reveals, Ohio’s Secretary of State John Husted refused to enforce the appellate court decision made three weeks ago, in which a three-judge panel took the side of Obama campaign and didn’t pass a law that would have limited early voting.

Husted remained confident that Ohio residents should not be allowed to vote on that weekend, which was a prime voting period in the previous election four years ago. He described the court’s decision as an unprecedented intrusion by federal judges into state elections that was illegal and impractical.

The Supreme Court’s order reads: “The application for stay presented to Justice [Elena] Kagan and by her referred to the Court is denied.”

The Obama campaign expressed delight with the ruling. “We now turn our full attention to educating Ohio voters on when and how they can vote along with presenting the clear choice they face when selecting their next president,” Bob Bauer, general counsel for the campaign, said in a statement.

The early-voting period began in Ohio two weeks ago, but in accordance with the new law, mostly during working hours.

“Justice has prevailed,” said Pastor Rousseau O’Neil, of Rockdale Baptist Church in Cincinnati, who has taken part in several Souls to the Polls campaigns. “We saw that early voting made a tremendous difference four years ago and I suspect that it will have a tremendous impact this time around as well.”

“At this time in our lives and in this country, we can not afford to go back to a time when so many people were denied the right, in any form or fashion. We’ll come out in droves,” he added.

Meanwhile, both candidates are getting prepared for the upcoming second round of the presidential debates which is scheduled on Tuesday.

Obama’s political advisers promised that the debate will show his more aggressive side to prevent Mitt Romney from delivering another “magical and theatrical performance.”

Obama’s aides did admit that he lost the first debate, which in the shift of the direction of a race that had favored the president but has since tightened in national and battleground state polls.

“He knows Mitt Romney had a better night at the first debate,” Obama spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said of the president. “The American people should expect to see a much more energized President Obama.”

To respond, Ed Gillespie, senior adviser to the Romney campaign, promised that the Republican nominee would be prepared regardless of Obama’s adjustments: “The president can change his style. He can change his tactics. He can’t change his record.”

The former Massachusetts governor’s advisers said Mr Romney intends to continue to moderate his message as he did in the Oct. 3 debate to broaden his appeal to the narrow slice of voters who haven’t made up their minds.

Both Obama and Romney will meet face-to-face again on Tuesday night at New York’s Hofstra University in a debate that the president hopes to win to grab back the campaign momentum.  And the third debate is set for October 22 in Boca Raton, Florida.

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