The Supreme Court just issued a decision on early voting in the state of Ohio that should help Democrats in their fight for the key battleground state of this election. In previous years, the state has allowed citizens to vote anytime in the three days before Election Day, but state Republicans tried to amend that rule for 2012 so that only military personal or Ohioans living overseas could take advantage of early voting. (Since military voters tend to favor Republicans, this was seen as a gambit to tilt the odds in their favor.) The Obama campaign sued and won two lower court injunctions blocking the law, and today the Supreme Court refused to intervene, allowing the lower court rulings to stand.
Since Ohio has once again become the most important state of the election, the ruling was vitally important to the Obama campaign, which is pushing for early voting as a way to get more of the President's supporters to the polls. However, this is also just the first of many legal challenges to voting rules and regulations that have already started and will continue past November 6. The Romney campaign has already filed suit in Wisconsin, claiming the state failed to get military voters their ballots on time. Another Ohio lawsuit concerns people who might be arrested during the pre-election weekend and kept in jail past Tuesday so they can't cast their vote. New Mexico Democrats are suing over the right to straight-ticket voting. And that doesn't even begin to get into all the numerous voter ID laws and voter roll purges that are being challenged or expect to be challenged in places like Arizona, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.