The Supreme Court has turned aside a request from the state of Ohio to take up an appeal of the federal court decision that prevented the state from stopping early voting during the three-day period before the election, Reuters reports.
The decision is a victory for the Obama campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party, which sued Ohio officials to restore early voting right up to Election Day eve. Republicans opposed their efforts, arguing that a cutoff was needed to reduce voter fraud.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday denied Ohio's request to curtail early voting in the state leading up to the November 6 presidential election.
Ohio, critical to the election hopes of Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, began early in-person voting earlier this month but planned to cut it off on November 2, the Friday before the election, except for members of the military …
In states that allow voters to cast ballots before election day, early voting and extended voting hours are thought to benefit Democratic candidates because lower-income people, who tend to vote for them, are more likely to work odd hours.
Earlier this month, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a U.S. District Court order that reinstated early voting in the final days before the election. The state had appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court.
In a one-sentence order on Tuesday, the high court denied the state's petition for a stay of the appeals court decision.
Obama for America released the following statement from General Counsel Bob Bauer in reaction to the decision:
We are pleased that the US Supreme Court declined to overturn federal court rulings that every Ohioan be allowed to vote during the weekend and Monday before the election. This action from the highest court in the land marks the end of the road in our fight to ensure open voting this year for all Ohioans, including military, veterans, and overseas voters. We now turn our full attention to educating Ohio voters on when and how they can vote along with presenting the clear choice they face when selecting their next President.
Read more at Reuters.