Supreme Court stops start of Ohio early voting

Sean Lengell
The Washington Examiner

The Supreme Court handed Ohio Republicans an early election victory Monday when it halted the state’s early voting program hours before it was to begin.

The high court voted 5-4 to grant a request from GOP state officials to cut out a week in Ohio when people could register to vote and cast ballots.

Early voting for the Nov. 4 elections in the key swing state was supposed to begin Tuesday. But the justices’ order means early voting now will start Oct. 7.

Republican officials tried changing state election rules to shrink the early voting window on the grounds it would help combat voter fraud and make elections less expensive. But a coalition of black churches and civil rights groups filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the new rules.

A federal judge initially blocked the law. But the Supreme Court’s five conservative-leaning justices — Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas — disagreed and voted to grant Ohio’s request.

The order will remain in effect until the court acts on an appeal by state officials. But because the court won’t hear the appeal until well after Oct. 7, Monday’s decision will stand through this year’s election season.

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