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Published: Tuesday, 6/17/2014 - Updated: 6 months ago

Husted sets uniform hours for early voting

BY JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU CHIEF
Husted Husted
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COLUMBUS -- In the wake of last week's federal court decision ordering him to do so, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today set uniform hours across the state for in-person early voting on the final three days for the Nov. 4 election and subsequent elections.

His latest directive provides for hours on just one Sunday and two Saturdays, and allows for no evening hours.

“From my perspective, this matter is now settled,” the Republican secretary of state said. “I urge those who have strenuously opposed uniformity in voting hours to respect the decision of the court as I have and join me in educating Ohioans about their many opportunities to vote.”

For this year’s election, voting would begin 28 days before the election, after the registration deadline has passed. That’s a reflection of a new state law eliminating the so-called “Golden Week,” the period during which would-be voters could register and then immediately cast an absentee ballot either by mail or in person.

But things could change yet again. The Golden Week law also faces a federal court challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union, League of Women Voters, NAACP, and several African-American churches.

For the Nov. 4 gubernatorial election, the new early voting schedule for all 88 counties would be:

—Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except Monday, Nov. 3)

—Saturdays, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

—Sunday, Nov. 2, from 1 to 5 p.m.

—Monday, Nov. 3, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The directive provides for only slightly longer weekday hours for presidential general elections and slightly fewer early voting opportunities for off-year municipal elections, primaries, and special elections. But all the schedules include voting on the final three days before the election.

Contact Jim Provance at: jprovance@theblade.com or 614-221-0496.



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