Federal judge Peter Economus ruled today that a Republican law to curtail in-person early voting, in which people can vote in Ohio up until the Monday before election day, was unconstitutional:
The law had made an exception allowing for in-person early voting over that final weekend for military personnel, voters who fell under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act, or UOCAVA. Supporters of the law said that eliminating early voting over those final three days could hurt those voters who otherwise might have more limited access to voting.
But the judge took a different view, saying that opening in-person early voting over those final three days to all voters would not harm those military families. Instead, Economus said the only harm to those voters was that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, had not set uniform hours for voting over that final weekend.
"This court notes that restoring in-person early voting to all Ohio voters through the Monday before Election Day does not deprive UOCAVA voters from early voting," the judge ruled. "Instead, and more importantly, it places all Ohio voters on equal standing."
Ohio, like many Republican-controlled states, has taken steps to limit the voting rights of exactly those citizens most likely to vote for Democrats. Since the Republican platform is remarkably unpopular once people get to know it, this is their "plan B." It would be sad, if it weren't fundamentally wrong.