September 19, 2016

Ohio won a recent legal victory that protects its voting laws from undue federal intervention, and Atlas Network partner The Buckeye Institute was instrumental in making the case to preserve the integrity of Ohio’s elections with its amicus brief filed earlier this year. “Ohio voters can go to the polls this fall knowing the integrity of the state’s electoral process is more protected,” said Daniel J. Dew, a legal fellow with The Buckeye Institute. “Ohio voters, our law-making system, and the entire nation who will be watching our state this November won today.”

Ohio has been a leader among the United States in allowing extensive early voting, with a 29-day period before election day during which absentee votes can be cast — among the top 10 states in the nation for early voting. The state set this period in 2014, eliminating “golden week,” which is “the time period when voter registration overlapped with early voting; meaning, people could register and vote at the same time” — which allowed for a greater potential for voter fraud.

“On May 24, a federal judge overturned an Ohio General Assembly law, which set the state’s early voting at 29 days,” The Buckeye Institute explained. “Challengers alleged that a 34-year-old federal law required Ohio to offer even more days of early voting.”

Ultimately, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of the state of Ohio and The Buckeye Institute’s amicus brief. “Sixth Circuit Judge David McKeague called the challengers’ position ‘astonishing,’ as it would prohibit states from modifying their electoral procedures,” the institute reported.

“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.”