Early last Tuesday morning – the first day of early in-person voting at Ohio’s boards of elections – we stopped by the Hamilton County Board of Elections downtown fully expecting to see a line of voters eager to cast the first ballots in the 2014 election.
In past years – particularly gubernatorial and presidential elections – there have been long lines outside the board’s offices on Broadway, sometimes stretching around the block. Sometimes, people would camp out overnight on the sidewalk to be first in line.
Registered Ohio voters can begin in-person early voting at their county boards of elections beginning 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Ohio is back to the hours set earlier by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, with 28 days to vote by absentee ballot or in-person at the boards of elections.
Early voting might have started on Sept. 30, but the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 29 granted an emergency plea from state officials to block a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling expanding early voting days and times.
Early voting that was set to begin Tuesday won’t happen after all.
The U.S. Supreme Court has put a hold on in person, early voting in Ohio. The ruling will remain in effect until the court acts on an appeal by state officials. And since that appeal has not yet formally been filed , it means the Golden week, when Ohioans can both register to vote and cast a ballot at the same time, will not be allowed.
Ohio’s 35 day period of early voting – beginning next Tuesday - will remain in effect after a three-judge panel of the Cincinnati-based Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the state of Ohio’s appeal Wednesday.
But Secretary of State Jon Husted said Wednesday he will ask the full 15-member federal appeals court to hear the state’s appeal of the decision. Time is running out for that, though, with early voting set to start in five days.
It is not yet clear whether the full appeals court will agree to hear the state’s appeal.