DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A presidential candidate is seemingly challenging Ohio’s voting system through the campaign’s lawyers.
Attorneys for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign filed the lawsuit Friday, and Ohio Democrats are also listed as plantiffs.
The lawsuit is calling out Ohio’s Secretary of State Jon Husted, and other Ohio offices and leaders.
The lawyers allege that Ohio’s early voting laws are discriminating against certain groups.
The elimination of “Golden Week” plays a major role with these claims; it was the week when voters could register and vote on the same day.
For Democrats, like Hillary Clinton, they say having no “Golden Week,” prevents many minorities and young people from voting.
“I never thought it was a big issue to begin with,” said Steve Harsman, deputy director with the Montgomery County Board of Elections. “Here in Montgomery County, in a presidential election, we may have had 150 to 200 people that would register during the golden week and then vote.”
Ohio has seen these type of lawsuits before, and local election officials tell 2 NEWS they thought these issues were settled.
“If you can’t get to the polls in 652 hours, then what do we need to look at” Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jan Kelly asked.
In Ohio, there are 652 hours for early voting, which is due to a federal court decision several weeks ago.
The federal court ruled for more hours and uniformity to Ohio’s voting, adding Sunday voting and much more for early voting.
Despite this recent ruling, the local board of election says it still expects this type of lawsuit every 4 years because Harsman explains”as Ohio goes, the presidency goes. So we have a major impact in selection of the leader of our country.”
Wright State University political professor Paul Leonard agrees.
“It’s all about politics. I don’t think there’s any question that Hillary Clinton is going to campaign on the theme that she’s for the everyday American,” Leonard detailed. “She wants to make sure that everyone has access to the polls and that money doesn’t control the political process.”
Whatever the outcome, the local League of Women Voters says this lawsuit is starting a conversation on the importance of access to voting.
“It should be easier to vote and more fun to vote and Golden Week was one of those opportunities,” Executive Direcrtor Susan Hesselgesser said.
Those 2 NEWS spoke with say addressing the lawsuit could take some time, but Leonard expects the courts will not rule in this matter.
2 NEWS did reach out to Secretary Jon Husted regarding the lawsuit.
His office provided the statement; in it the following was said:
“Ohioans don’t want politically motivated, legal lap dogs messing around in our elections, this nonsense creates more confusion and discourages voting by undermining voter confidence.”