The organization that represents elections officials throughout Ohio has not taken a position on the federal court’s most recent ruling on changes to the state’s elections laws. Last week the court ordered the state to go back to some of the early voting options that were in place in 2010, but have since been eliminated by new laws. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted plans to appeal the ruling, but Aaron Oeckerman with the Ohio Association of Election Officials says his group didn’t ask Husted to do that.
“I think boards of elections over the past 15 years have gotten very used to having to react very quickly to court cases, legislation and directives," says Oeckerman. "I don’t think anyone was really surprised by this decision. So I don’t think we are not going to be prepared and when this appeal moves forward and is ruled on, I think we will be ready to go."
Husted, a Republican, says he’s appealing the ruling because it goes against his goal of treating all counties equally with the same rules. But Democrats have argued that rural counties and large counties are different, so something that might work well in one county often doesn’t work the same way in another.
The latest ruling restores the golden week, the period of time when Ohioans can both register to vote and cast a ballot at the same time. It also adds more non-business hours and an extra Sunday to the weeks leading up to Election Day. There’s no timetable for when the appeals court might rule on whether to keep those voting options in place this fall.