In 2008, more than 1.7 million Ohioans cast ballots in person or by mail before Election Day. Nearly a third of all votes cast in Ohio were cast by early voters.
If our state legislators have their way, however, we will not be able to do it again. A new law, rushed through the State House, dramatically restricts access to early voting and bans the most popular times and days. Millions of people will be forced to wait in longer lines or take time off work to vote. Many people may decide not to vote at all.
If these new rules stand:
- Ohioans will be able to vote early only between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. during the week, the time when most people are at work, school, or taking their kids to school or day care.
- In-person early voting on Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday will be banned.
- Early voting will be reduced from five to two weeks for in-person voting and from five to three weeks for absentee voting.
- If you go to the wrong polling place on Election Day, poll workers will not have to tell you where you should go to cast a ballot.
If these rules are in place in 2012, up to 40% of voters in Franklin County will have to find a new time, place, or way to vote.
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