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Buckeye Institute secures win in legal battle over early voting

Aug 23, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio—The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled in The Buckeye Institute's favor today on Ohio's early voting law. The court reversed a federal judge's decision requiring Ohio to expand its already nation-leading early voting law.

"Ohio voters can go to the polls this fall knowing the integrity of the state's electoral process is more protected," Daniel J. Dew, a legal fellow with The Buckeye Institute, said. "Ohio voters, our law-making system, and the entire nation who will be watching our state this November won today."

On May 24, a federal judge overturned an Ohio General Assembly law, which set the state's early voting at 29 days. Challengers alleged that a 34-year-old federal law required Ohio to offer even more days of early voting. Secretary of State Jon Husted noted that Ohio's 29-day period for casting absentee ballots puts the state in the top 10 nationwide for early voting.

Sixth Circuit Judge David McKeague called the challengers' position "astonishing," as it would prohibit states from modifying their electoral procedures.

An amicus brief submitted by The Buckeye Institute's Legal Center supported Secretary Husted's defense of Ohio's absentee voting period. Representing The Buckeye Institute in the case was Michael Carvin, an election and appellate law expert with the global Jones Day law firm. 

"The Buckeye Institute's Legal Center will continue to stand up for Ohioans against judges who ignore the clear intent of the law," Dew said. "This victory also strengthens the laws of 40 other states that have fewer absentee days than Ohio, a national leader in early voting." 

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Founded in 1989, The Buckeye Institute is an independent research and educational institution—a think tank—whose mission is to advance free-market public policy in the states.