A U.S. judge in Ohio threw out a Republican-backed law that cut three days of early voting for most of the state’s citizens, handing a victory to President Barack Obama’s campaign organization.
In a third setback for Republican-sponsored election law changes this week, U.S. District Judge Peter Economus in Columbus ruled that Ohio can’t give members of the military and citizens living abroad three days more than other voters to cast ballots. He ordered the previous schedule restored that allowed anyone to vote until the day before an election.
“This court finds that plaintiffs have a constitutionally protected right to participate in the 2012 election — and all elections — on an equal basis with all Ohio voters,” Economus said, ruling on a lawsuit brought by Obama for America.
Fights over voting access are intensifying in swing states including Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where both Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns see a possibility of victory. Voter cases are also under way in Alabama, Texas and South Carolina.