74 Ohio St. L.J. Furthermore 1 (2012)

handle is hein.journals/furth74 and id is 1 raw text is: Why the Ohio Early Voting Case Is Not a Threat to
Military Voting Accommodations
STEVEN F. HUEFNER*
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I.   INTRODUCTION           .......................................... .......... 1
II.   THE STATUTORY LANDSCAPE          ............................ ........2
III.  THE FEDERAL COURTS GRANT RELIEF            ............................6
IV. IMPACT ON OTHER MILITARY VOTING ACCOMMODATIONS .............. 8
V.    CONCLUSION.         .......................................... ......... 12
I. INTRODUCTION
One of the most closely watched court battles of the 2012 presidential
election was the lawsuit that the Obama campaign brought against the Ohio
secretary of state in an attempt to restore early in-person voting for all Ohio
voters on the final three days before Election Day. The case-Obama for
America v. Husted'-revolved around the simple fact that in the 2012 election,
new Ohio laws permitted county boards of elections to offer early in-person
voting only to military voters on these final three days, but halted early voting
for all other voters at 6:00 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day. Because in
the 2008 presidential election some 100,000 non-military Ohio voters had voted
during the same final three days of early voting, and because the Obama
campaign and its co-plaintiffs, the Democratic National Committee and the
Ohio Democratic Party, saw these voters as tending to vote Democratic, the
lawsuit was seen as potentially critical to the outcome of a close Ohio race.
The equal protection claim at the core of the Obama for America suit was
initially greeted with skepticism by many knowledgeable observers, who
presumed that the state was free to provide these additional early voting hours,
like many other accommodations, exclusively to military voters.2 These
prognosticators were surprised when the federal district court issued a
preliminary injunction, later affirmed by the Sixth Circuit, requiring Ohio to
offer all other voters the same early voting opportunities that it provided to
Professor of Law and Senior Fellow of Election Law C@& Moritz, The Ohio State
University Michael E. Moritz College of Law. I am grateful for the advice and
encouragement of my Election Lav a Moritz colleagues Terri Enns and Ned Foley.
1697 F.3d 423, 423 (6th Cir. 2012).
2See, e.g., Edward B. Foley, Analyzing a Voting Wars Trifecta, Free & Fair Blog,
ELECTION LAW @ MORITZ (Aug. 16, 2012), http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/electionlaw/
freefair/index.php?ID=9579 (predicting the argument would fail); Richard L. Hasen, Is the
Supreme Court About to Swing Another Presidential Election?, SLATE (Oct. 15, 2012, 3:52
PM), http://www.slate.com/articles/newsand politics/politics/2012/10/if the supreme
court cuts early voting in ohio it could swing the state.html (calling the plaintiffs'
claim a major stretch).

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