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Federal Judge Strikes Down Ohio Law That Curtailed Early Voting

Voting booths

A federal judge today struck down an Ohio law that trimmed early voting.  The judge called the law that shortened the so-called “Golden Week” unconstitutional.

Judge Michael Watson says Ohioans’ voting rights were violated when the Republican-dominated legislature eliminated “Golden Week.”   The week gave people the right to register and vote absentee on the same day. It also gave voters an additional seven days to cast ballots.   

Watson said the law violated both the Constitution and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.  He blocked the state from further enforcing or implementing the law. 

The judge said that African-Americans were disproportionately burdened by the law’s restrictions. 

Secretary of State Jon Husted who office oversees voting in Ohio called today's ruling disappointing.

Husted said since the law was created on members of the legislature, he would consult with the Senate President and the House Speaker before deciding how to proceed.