COLUMBUS, Ohio â€“ A federal judge ruled on Thursday a law that cuts early voting in Ohio is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced for the Nov. 2014 election. The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by the NAACP Ohio State Conference, the American Civil Liberties Union, several black churches and other coalition partners. The law would have cut back the early voting period from 35 days before the election to 28 days, eliminated evening voting and voting on the Sunday before Election Day.
From Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO:
â€œEarly voting is not a social luxury, itâ€™s a civic essentialâ€”particularly for citizens working long hours on the job or in the home. This ruling will restore access to the ballot box for thousands of Ohioans during the midterm election. If these cuts had been allowed to remain in place, many voters would have lost a critical opportunity to participate in our democratic process. Voting is the foundation of our democracy and its imperative that citizens of every race, color and creed have unfettered access to the ballot box.â€
Jotaka Eaddy, Senior Advisor to President and CEO and Senior Director of Voting Rights at the NAACP:
â€œExpanding opportunities to vote, builds a stronger democracy. To deny thousands of Ohio residents, who have demanding work schedules, childcare obligations and other responsibilities an opportunity to vote would be a tragedy. Cuts like these disproportionately harm low-income Americans and communities of color.â€
Sybil Edwards-McNabb, President of the NAACP Ohio State Conference:
â€œThis important ruling and historic victory on the part of the NAACP enables Ohio residents to once again register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day. It also restores evening early voting, as well as voting on several Sundays. The Ohio State Conference is proud of this victory and our work with the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio to reverse these early voting cuts. This triumph will surely encourage Ohioans across the state to take full advantage of the voting process and significantly increase voter turnout.â€
To view the ruling: http://action.naacp.org/page/-/Ohio%20PI%20Decision.pdf