The United States Supreme Court refused the Ohio GOP’s request to overturn an appellate court decision that reinstated early voting on the weekend and the Monday prior to the election in the state.
The decision is not a ruling on the merits, which means it does not address the substance of the early voting restrictions. Nor does it guarantee the Court will not take up a challenge to the law later. But for now it means early voting and Republican efforts at voter suppression have been thwarted.
Republicans in the state had tried to change voting rules to make early voting available only for military and overseas voters, but the Obama campaign challenged that move arguing that early voting had to be available to all Ohioans.
It’s hard to see the Court’s refusal to take the case as anything other than a win for Democrats. They have argued that as many as 100,000 people voted during the three days before the 2008 election. And with Ohio’s status as an electoral-college rich swing state in a race as close as this one, every vote literally counts.
But even more important is the fact that voting rights advocates scored another win in the push back against Republican voting restrictions. Republicans banked on restricting access to the polls in a variety of ways and so far most of them have fallen flat. And while there’s still plenty of time for conservatives to try and keep voters home or send them astray the courts, for now at least, are doing their job in keeping the most fundamental of rights available to all Americans.
Photo from steakpinball via flickr.