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Government and Politics


Department of Justice weighs in on voting lawsuit in Ohio
The department maintains Ohio misinterpreted Voting Rights Act
Story by NICK CASTELE


 
The Department of Justice is taking issue with recent early-voting law changes.
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The U.S. Department of Justice is weighing in on a federal lawsuit over voting times in Ohio. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN's Nick Castele reports.

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The NAACP and American Civil Liberties Union sued the state earlier this year over two changes in Ohio’s voting schedule, saying they hit African-American voters the hardest.

One change eliminated the so-called “golden week,” in which people could register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day. The second set times with limited after-hours voting and no Sunday voting.

Under orders from a federal judge, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has expanded some of those hours, but the lawsuit continues.

The brief from the Justice Department does not ask for a specific ruling, but says the state of Ohio misinterpreted part of the Voting Rights Act in arguing against the lawsuit.

A spokesman for Husted’s office maintains all voters have ample time to cast a ballot,. He says the Justice Department should not be picking out Ohio when other states offer fewer early voting days.

The feds have also filed a brief in Wisconsin against a voter ID law there.

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