A federal judge in Ohio on Friday granted a request from President Barack Obama’s campaign to give all voters in the swing state the option of casting their ballot in person during the three days before Election Day.
U.S. District Judge Peter Economus in Columbus issued a preliminary injunction in a case involving a state law that cuts off early voting for most residents on the Friday evening before a Tuesday election.
The judge’s ruling said that he expects Ohio’s elections chief to direct all county elections boards to maintain a specific, consistent schedule on those three days “in keeping with his earlier directive that only by doing so can he ensure that Ohio’s election process is `uniform, accessible for all, fair, and secure.’”
Obama’s campaign and Democrats sued the state’s elections chief and attorney general over the legality of the law. They argued that everyone should have the chance to vote on those three days. The law makes an exception for military personnel and Ohio voters living overseas.
This is a real blow for Team Romney and Republicans, who wanted to steal this swing state by changing the rules in the middle of the game. Like all Republican attempts to rejigger voting laws, this was meant to disenfranchise demographic groups most likely to vote Democrat.