Maryann Tobin

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted suffered a blow on Friday, when the Southern District Court overturned his order to restrict early voting hours for Ohio citizens.

The ruling by Ohio Southern District Court Judge Peter Economus states:

“A citizen has a constitutionally protected right to participate in elections on an equal basis with other citizens in the jurisdiction. In Ohio, that right to participate equally has been abridged The Ohio Revised Code, as interpreted by Defendant Secretary of State Husted, provides for two different deadlines for in-person early voting…"

So the Ohio early voting restrictions are discriminatory and therefore illegal.

This is the third defeat in as many days for new restrictive voting laws.

On Thursday, Texas voter ID laws were struck down in federal court.

In Florida on Wednesday, new fines, penalties and deadlines imposed on those who try to register voters was ruled "unreasonable" and unfair by federal judges.

Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, (D) called Republican attempts to restrict voting "dirty tricks" in a interview on MSNBCs The Ed Show on Friday night.

There is evidence to support Turner's suggestion that efforts to stop American citizens from voting is an unfair and discriminatory political maneuver. Federal courts agree, as they continue to strike down voter ID laws throughout the country.

Since 2010, more than 30 states have enacted or attempted to enact laws that impose barriers to voting. All the legislation has come from Republicans. Their contention is that the new laws are needed to stop voter fraud. But voter fraud is not a widespread problem, nor does it warrant the extreme measures being attempted to stop it.

No evidence to support claims of voter fraud

There have only been 86 documented cases of voter fraud in the U.S., according to Department of Justice statistics. Rolling Stone called it a Republican "war on voting" and a "campaign supported by the Koch brothers… to prevent millions of Democrats from voting."

Throughout the country, new voter ID laws threaten to disenfranchise 5 million American citizens from voting.

Most of the voter ID laws and other voting restrictions target low income groups, the elderly, students, Hispanics and African Americans, who tend to vote for Democrats.

Voter fraud and election fraud are two completely different things.

Voter fraud involves in-person voter impersonation. Election fraud occurs when a person, or group of persons, attempt to alter the outcome of an election by illegal or unethical methods.


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Full written decision: Southern District Court for the Ohio early voting ruling