Ohio law expands early voting for Republicans, cuts it for Democrats

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Ohio has made voting harder for Democrats, and easier for Republicans.

ThinkProgres, The Nation magazine and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reported this week that Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has intervened in county-by-county voting rules to break ties in county boards of elections, siding with Republicans who want to limit voting in large urban centers like Cleveland — which are heavily populated by Democrats — to work hours, while county boards in Republican-leaning areas voted to allow expanded early voting hours that will make casting a ballot easier.

From ThinkProgress:

Starting October 1st, voters in Democrat-leaning urban centers including Cleveland, Columbus, Akron and Toledo will now only be allowed to vote between 8 am and 5 pm on weekdays, when the majority of people are at work. The board of elections in these counties, which are split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, was gridlocked over a Democratic effort to expand hours. The Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted stepped in to deny expanded hours in these counties. But Republican-heavy counties have actually expanded early voting hours on nights and weekends, when most people have time to go to the polls.

… Besides historically favoring Democrats, these urban centers comprise Ohio’s most populous and diverse counties. 28 percent of Cuyahoga County is African American, as is 20 percent of Franklin County. President Obama won the African American vote by 95 points in Ohio.

Read more about this story at The Nation.