Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said on Thursday that a federal lawsuit filed against him by President Obama’s campaign and other Democrats is “misguided” and will lead to “confusion and the undermining of confidence in the election system.”
The Obama campaign and the Ohio and national Democratic parties on Tuesday filed the lawsuit against Husted and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, both Republicans, seeking to reinstate in-person absentee voting for all Ohioans during the three days preceding November’s voting contest. Military voters and their families are exempt from the restriction, a distinction the campaign argues is unconstitutional.
“This lawsuit seeks to treat all Ohio citizens equally under the law,” said Bob Bauer, an attorney for Obama for America.
Husted would not comment on the political calculus behind the lawsuit but asked rhetorically: “Why isn’t it a problem in the 49 other states where they do the same kinds of things?”
Husted said there is no undue burden on Ohioans casting ballots and said the change, which was enacted last year, was made to synchronize the voting windows across all Ohio counties. Previously in Ohio, the local elections boards decided which days to stay open prior to a voting contest.