OH Democratic Party v. Husted, No. 16-3561 (6th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
The Ohio election regulation at issue, Senate Bill 238, amends Ohio Revised Code section 3509.01, to allow early in-person voting for 29 days before Election Day. The law previously allowed 35 days for early voting, including six days during which a person could both register and vote. In one of many pending challenges to the state’s election laws, the district court found the provision invalid. The Sixth Circuit reversed, calling Ohio “a national leader when it comes to early voting opportunities.” The law is facially neutral; it offers early voting to everyone. The Constitution does not require any opportunities for early voting and as many as 13 states offer only Election Day voting. The regulation was the product of a bipartisan recommendation, as amended pursuant to a subsequent litigation settlement. It is the product of collaborative processes, not unilateral overreaching by the political party that happened to be in power. While the challenged regulation may slightly diminish the convenience of registration and voting, it applies even-handedly to all voters, and, despite the change, Ohio continues to provide generous, reasonable, and accessible voting options to all Ohioans. There is no cognizable injury under the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act.