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Judge Orders Ohio to Lift Early Voting Ban

State had tried to block voting for non-troops in three days before election
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2012 1:26 PM CDT
Judge Orders Ohio to Lift Early Voting Ban
A woman votes in the Ohio primary at the Chagrin Falls Park Community Center in May.   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

A federal judge today struck down a new Ohio law that forbids early voting in the three days before Election Day for non-military voters, the Toledo Blade reports. Ohio has long allowed voters to cast absentee ballots by mail or in person starting 35 days before the election, but the law, passed last year, would set a deadline of 6pm on Friday to do so, for everyone except military members.

The Obama administration challenged the law, saying it arbitrarily gave the military special treatment, and the judge agreed. "Restoring in-person early voting to all Ohio voters through the Monday before Election Day does not deprive (military) voters," he wrote in his decision. "Instead, and more importantly, it places all Ohio voters on equal standing." Ohio's lawyers had argued that many laws already grant military voters special privileges, and that local boards needed the three-day respite to prepare for the election, the AP reports. (More Ohio stories.)

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