Black Churches and Groups Sue Ohio Over Cut to Early Voting

Black Churches and Groups Sue Ohio Over Cut to Early Voting

Ohio’s law cutting the first week of early voting and all early ballots on Sundays was challenged by black and women’s groups in a lawsuit that further expands nationwide litigation over access to the polls.

The 2014 law, which reduced early voting to 28 days from 35, complicates voting for low-income workers who have greater difficulty arranging child-care and time off work, the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the organizations, said today in a statement.

Early voting on Sundays is popular with black church groups that often provide bus transportation to polling places to encourage votes, the ACLU said.

“Ohio has again taken center stage in the battle over voting rights,” Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s voting rights project, said in the statement. “Politicians who tamper with people’s fundamental right to vote are being put on notice that they are not going to get away with it.”

Suits over early voting are also pending in North Carolina. A federal judge in Milwaukee two days ago voided Wisconsin’s photo-identification requirement for voting, and a state court judge in Pennsylvania struck down a similar law in January. Photo-ID cases have also been filed in Texas and Arkansas.

Lawyers in the office of Ohio’s attorney general, Mike DeWine, who is named in the lawsuit, are reviewing the complaint, Lisa Peterson Hackley, his spokeswoman, said by phone.

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Source: Bloomberg | Erik Larson

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