The Supreme Court denied a last-ditch appeal from Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, asking them to give immediate consideration to his petition to allow the state’s early voting restrictions, which were invalidated by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, to remain in place for this year’s election.
Without noted dissent, the Supreme Court at midday Tuesday turned aside a plea by state officials in Ohio to allow them to close down voting opportunities on the final three days before election day on November 6. The ruling was a significant victory for President Obama and for Democrats, especially since they claimed that the shuttering of voting offices on the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday before election day would be likely to affect low-income and minority voters — many of whom may be expected to vote Democratic.
The Court acted in a one-sentence order that contained no explanation. The action, though, left intact a lower-court order that required voting officials in the crucial electoral state to open the polls on that final weekend to all voters, if they open them to any voters. Ohio officials wanted to allow voting then only by members of the military and their families, on the theory that they might be called away suddenly on military duty. While it is up to each county’s election officials to decide whether to be open for voting on those days, many if not most — and, crucially, major cities — are expected to do so rather than shut out military voters altogether. Under the lower-court order, all voters must be treated the same for early voting.
So remember when Mitt Romney lied and said that this suit was an attack on the right of military personnel to vote early? He’s going to apologize and retract that lie now since no one is going to be denied the right to vote, right? Right? Yeah, I didn’t think so.